MLB playoff picture: Bracket, standings, new format explained with 12-team postseason field set (2024)

MLB playoff picture: Bracket, standings, new format explained with 12-team postseason field set (1)

The 2022 MLB playoffs kick off Friday with the Wild Card Series

By Dayn Perry

, Mike Axisa

& R.J. Anderson

3 min read

MLB playoff picture: Bracket, standings, new format explained with 12-team postseason field set (3)

Just one day remains in the 2022 Major League Baseball regular season but the expanded, 12-team playoff bracket is already finalized. The Phillies became the 12th and final team to punch its playoff ticket on Monday, and Braves clinched the NL East over the Mets on Tuesday. The 2022 MLB playoffs get started on Friday with the best-of-three Wild Card Series.

Now let's jump into the standings, playoff matchups, and postseason odds, and let's also recall that the structure of the postseason is different starting this year.

Clinched spots

  • Dodgers: Clinched NL West, No. 1 seed in NL, home field throughout postseason
  • Astros: Clinched AL West, No. 1 seed in AL
  • Mets: Clinched No. 4 seed in NL
  • Braves: Clinched NL East, No. 2 seed in NL
  • Yankees: Clinched AL East, No. 2 seed in AL
  • Guardians: Clinched AL Central, No. 3 seed in AL
  • Cardinals: Clinched NL Central, No. 3 seed in NL
  • Blue Jays: Clinched No. 4 seed in AL
  • Mariners: Clinched No. 5 seed in AL
  • Rays: Clinched No. 6 seed in AL
  • Padres: Clinched No. 5 seed in NL
  • Phillies: Clinched No. 6 seed in NL

The new, 12-team playoff format

During the recent negotiation of the new collective bargaining agreement, players and owners agreed to a new and expanded postseason structure moving forward. That new structure begins with the current season, and here's a reminder of how it will work.

  • The postseason field grows from 10 teams to 12 teams with the addition of an extra wild-card entrant in each league.
  • The Wild Card Game has been replaced by the best-of-three Wild Card Series, which functions as the first round of play. The higher seed in each Wild Card Series will host all the games of that series, be it two or the maximum three games.
  • The top two division winners in each league, as determined by best overall record during the regular season, get a first-round bye. That means they advance straight to the best-of-five Division Series that functions as the second round.
  • The four wild-card round participants in each league comprise the division winner with the worst record among division winners and the three non-division winners with the best records. That division winner is automatically the No. 3 seed regardless of whether one or all of the other wild-card teams has a better record.
  • To summarize, here's how the playoff seeding will work in each league — No. 1 seed (bye to LDS): Best record in league; No. 2 seed (bye to LDS): Second-best record among division winners; No. 3 seed: Third-best record among division winners; No. 4 seed: Best record among wild-card teams; No. 5 seed: Second-best record among wild-card teams; No. 6 seed: Third-best record among wild-card teams.

The League Championship Series and World Series remain best-of-seven series with home-field advantage going to the team with the best record in each series. Note that there's no re-seeding after any round.

Got it? Now here's where things stand right now when it comes to the races for these berths and seeds.

Bracket

American League

  • Byes: No. 1 Astros and No. 2 Yankees
  • Wild Card Series:No. 5 Mariners at No. 4 Blue Jays (winner faces No. 1 seed)
  • Wild Card Series: No. 6 Rays at No. 3 Guardians (winner faces No. 2 seed)

National League

  • Byes: No. 1 Dodgers and No. 2 Braves
  • Wild Card Series: No. 5 Padres at No. 4 Mets (winner faces No. 1 seed)
  • Wild Card Series: No. 6 Phillies at No. 3 Cardinals (winner faces No. 2 seed)

MLB standings

(Postseason projections are from SportsLine; expanded standings can be viewed here)

AL EASTWLGBPOST PROJECTION
N.Y. Yankees (clinched AL East)9962100.0%
Toronto (clinched WC spot)91697.5100.0%
Tampa Bay (clinched WC Spot)867513.0100.0%
Baltimore (eliminated)827816.50.0%
Boston (eliminated)778422.00.0%
AL CENTRALWLGBPOST PROJECTION
Cleveland (clinched AL Central)9170100.0%
Chi. White Sox (eliminated)818010.00.0%
Minnesota (eliminated)
778414.00.0%
Detroit (eliminated)669525.00.0%
Kansas City (eliminated)659626.00.0%
AL WESTWLGBPOST PROJECTION
Houston (clinched AL West)10556100.0%
Seattle (clinched WC spot)897216.0100.0%
L.A. Angels (eliminated)738831.00.0%
Texas (eliminated)679438.00.0%
Oakland (eliminated)5910246.00.0%
NL EASTWLGBPOST PROJECTION
Atlanta (clinched NL East)10160100.0%
N.Y. Mets (clinched playoff berth)
100611.0100.0%
Philadelphia (clinched playoff berth)877414.0100.0%
Miami (eliminated)689333.00.0%
Washington (eliminated)5510646.00.0%
NL CENTRALWLGBPOST PROJECTION
St. Louis (clinched NL Central)9368100.0%
Milwaukee (eliminated)86757.00.0%
Chi. Cubs (eliminated)738820.00.0%
Cincinnati (eliminated)629931.00.0%
Pittsburgh (eliminated)6110032.00.0%
NL WESTWLGBPOST PROJECTION
L.A. Dodgers (clinched NL West)11051100.0%
San Diego (clinched playoff berth)897221.0100.0%
San Francisco (eliminated)808130.00.0%
Arizona (eliminated)
738837.00.0%
Colorado (eliminated)689342.00.0%

MLB wild-card standings

AL WILD CARDWLWCGB
Toronto (clinched top WC spot)9169+5.5
Seattle (clinched second WC spot)8972+3.0
Tampa Bay (clinched third WC spot)8675--
NL WILD CARDWLWCGB
N.Y. Mets (clinched top WC spot)10061+13.0
San Diego (clinched second WC spot)8972+2.0
Philadelphia (clinched third WC spot)8774

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MLB playoff picture: Bracket, standings, new format explained with 12-team postseason field set (2024)
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