MLB playoff picture: Updated postseason bracket, standings, key Monday matchups for Phillies, Braves

- Advertisement -

The 2022 MLB season is in the home stretch. When you’re not watching Albert Pujols trying to surpass 700 career homers or Aaron Judge trying to set an American League homer record…or win the Triple Crown, it’s all about the playoffs. To keep you updated as the postseason approaches, we’re posting a picture of the playoffs every day until Game 162, which takes place on October 5, and highlighting games that can ultimately make all the difference.

What does the MLB playoff format look like in 2022?

First things first, you may remember that as part of the collective bargaining agreement that ended the lockout, team owners and players extended the postseason. There are currently six teams from each league, three division winners and three wilds. This means a new path to the World Series, and various considerations for watching races come down to the wire.

- Advertisement -

When each league field is set up, it will look like this:

  • - Advertisement -

    The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds – the top two division winners – said goodbye to them in the division series, which is a huge advantage. The remaining four teams will battle it out in a new three-game wildcard series replacing the one-game wildcard showdown, which will take place exclusively at Top Seed Park.

  • - Advertisement -

    The winner of the division with the worst record will become the #3 seed and will host the #6 seed, the worst-recorded wildcard team. The winner of this series will face the No. 2 seed, regardless of which team comes out on top.

  • The top two wilds, seed #4 and #5, will play each other. The winner will move forward to face the top seed.

From there everything will look familiar. The Division Series will feature the best of five games. The League Championship Series and World Series will be the best of the seven, with the higher seeded team having home field advantage by hosting games 1, 2, 6 and 7.

There will be no tie-breaks in game 163. Draws will be decided by the results of personal meetings between the teams. If it’s also a tie, the league will pass a procession of other records in the season to find a winnerstarting with intradivisional records.

What does the playoff picture look like now?

If the season were to end and the playoffs started on Monday morning, here’s what the standings would look like carried over to the league bracket.

American League

No. 1 seed: Houston Astros (AL West and top seed)

No. 2 seed: New York Yankees (AL East and goodbye)

Wild-card series: No. 3 Cleveland Guardians (AL Central won) vs. No. 6 Tampa Bay Rays (Postseason spot won)

Wild-card series: #4 Toronto Blue Jays (postseason spot filled) vs. #5 Seattle Mariners (postseason spot won)

National League

No. 1 seed: Los Angeles Dodgers (NL West and top seed)

No. 2 seed: Atlanta Braves (postseason spot captured)

Wild-card series: No. 3 St. Louis Cardinals (NL Central won) vs. No. 6 Philadelphia Phillies

Wild-card series: No. 4 New York Mets (Postseason berth secured) vs. No. 5 San Diego Padres (Postseason berth secured)

Still in the game: Milwaukee Brewers (2 games after the wild card)

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 01: Philadelphia Phillies #12 Kyle Schwarber celebrates a first inning home run win in Game 2 of a double-header baseball game against the Washington Nationals at National Park on October 1, 2022 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Mitchell Leighton/Getty Images)
#12 Kyle Schwarber of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates winning a first-inning home run in Game 2 of a double-header baseball game against the Washington Nationals. (Photo by Mitchell Leighton/Getty Images)

What key races are left?

With a determined Mets swing, the Braves are on the verge of another belated NL East crown. By crushing New York in one of the most anticipated series of the season, the Braves took control of the division in the standings, as well as the head-to-head tiebreak. Now they only need one win or one loss to the Mets to clinch the division title and decisive #2 seed.

It’s a similar pattern in the NL wildcard race, the only battle left. The Phillies won Sunday’s game at the Brewers and are now one win or one loss away from the Brewers for the final playoff berth in question.

What are the important games on Monday?

Braves at the Marlins, 6:40 AM ET: Fresh out of this dominating run by the Mets, the Braves head to Miami ready to celebrate. Rookie Bryce Elder, who last played the Nationals, will take the ball for Brian Snitker.

Phyllis on the Astros, 8:10 am ET: Tough draw for the Phillies as they try to finally punch their ticket into October. The top-seeded Astros won’t play this week, but they won’t be easy for Philadelphia. Aaron Nola will get a head start and try to end the uncertainty tonight.


- Advertisement -