MLB playoff picture: Standings, predictions, bracket, new format explained as Yankees clinch berth

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The 2022 Major League Baseball season is winding down, and the focus is on the race for playoff spots. Four teams (Dodgers, Astros, Mets and Braves) have clinched playoff spots, but the regular season is tied for less than two weeks.

The league-leading Dodgers became the first team to clinch a playoff spot, doing so last week (After some initial confusion, Los Angeles won its ninth NL West title in 10 years. The Astros won the AL West on Monday night, the same day the Mets clinched their first playoff spot since 2016. The Braves, who are within striking distance of the Mets in the NL East, punched their playoff ticket on Tuesday, and the Yankees followed suit. Thursday.

The NL East and AL Central are still fiercely competitive. In the AL, the Rays, Blue Jays and Mariners are essentially locked into the three wild-card spots and battling for seeding.

Now let’s get into the detailed standings, current playoff matchups and postseason odds, and let’s also remember that the structure of the postseason is different starting this year.

Captured locations

  • Dodgers: Won NL West, first-round bye
  • Astros: Win AL West, first round bye
  • Met: Earned a playoff spot
  • Braves: clinched a playoff spot
  • Yankees: clinch a playoff spot

New, 12-team playoff format

During recent negotiations of a new collective bargaining agreement, players and owners agreed to move forward with a new and expanded postseason structure. That new system kicks in this season, and here’s a reminder of how it will work.

  • The postseason field grows from 10 to 12 teams with the addition of one additional wild-card entrant in each league.
  • The wild card game, replaced by the best-of-three wild card series, serves as the first round of games. The higher seed in each wild card series will host all games of that series, which may be two or a maximum of three games.
  • The top two division winners in each league, determined by best overall record during the regular season, receive a first-round bye. That means they will advance straight to the best-of-five division series, where they will play in the second round.
  • Four wild-card round participants in each league include the division winner with the worst record among the division winners and the three non-division winners with the best records. The division winner is automatically the no. 3 seed regardless of whether one or all of the other wild card teams have the best record.
  • In a nutshell, here’s how playoff seeding works in each league — and doesn’t. 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 ranking: second-best record among wild-card teams; No. 6 seed: Third-best record among wild-card teams.

The League Championship Series and World Series are best-of-seven series that go to the team with the best record in each series. Please note that you cannot re-watch after any round.

Did you know? Now here’s where things stand when it comes to races for these births and seeds.

If the season ends today…

American League

  • Thanks: No. 1 Astros and the no. 2 Yankees
  • Wild Card Series: No. 5 rays no. 4 Blue Jays (winner No. 1 seed)
  • Wild Card Series: No. 6 Marines no. 3 defenders (winner faces No. 2)

National League

  • Thanks: No. 1 Dodgers and the no. 2 meats
  • Wild Card Series: No. 5 pads no. 4 Braves (Winner No. 1 Seed)
  • Wild Card Series: No. 6 Phillies no. 3 Cardinals (winner faces No. 2 seed)

MLB standings

(Postseason predictions are from SportsLine; see expanded standings here)

Houston (won the AL West) 99 52 , 100.0%
Seattle 82 67 16.0 99.5%
Texas (removed) 65 84 33.0 0.0%
LA Angels (eliminated) 65 85 33.5 0.0%
Oakland (removed) 55 95 43.5 0.0%

MLB wild card standings

NL wild card W L WCGB
Atlanta (clinched a playoff spot) 93 57 +10.5
San Diego 83 67 +0.5
Philadelphia 82 67 ,
Milwaukee 80 70 2.5

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