When do the MLB playoffs start in 2022? Dates, TV schedule & updated AL, NL brackets for postseason

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The MLB regular season is winding down, which means it's time to start looking ahead to the playoffs. While several teams have clinched berths, a lot of races remain wide open.

For the most compelling races in each league, look to the east. Half of the AL and NL fields are composed of East clubs: the Yankees (division winner), Blue Jays and Rays (wild cards) in the American League, and the Braves (leader), Mets and Phillies (wild cards) in the National League.

The NL Central's playoff hopeful field is much smaller. The Brewers are two games behind the Phillies for the final NL spot as they look to make the playoffs for the fifth year in a row.

The fifth seed in the American League is the Mariners, who broke a 20-year playoff drought, the longest in North American professional sports, with a walk-off win on Sept. 30.

Every division is now wrapped up sans the NL East, which will come down to the wire between the Braves and Mets.

MORE: Race for final two NL wild-card spots has been more slog than sprint

Playoff expansion has added a layer to the races: six teams in each league now make the playoffs, up from five.

Here's everything to know about the MLB playoffs with the regular season in the home stretch:

When do the MLB playoffs start in 2022?

The MLB playoffs will begin Oct. 7 with the Wild Card Series. They could end as late as Nov. 5 if the World Series goes seven games.

  • Wild Card Series: Oct. 7-9
  • Division Series: Oct. 11-17
  • League Championship Series: Oct. 18-26
  • World Series: Oct. 28 to Nov. 5

MLB playoff bracket

The seedings and potential matchups in each league through games of Sept. 30. The division winners receive the top three seeds, followed by the three wild-card teams.

American League

  1. Astros (West champion)
  2. Yankees (East champion)
  3. Guardians (Central champion)
  4. Blue Jays (Wild card 1)
  5. Mariners (Wild card 2)
  6. Rays (Wild card 3)

National League

  1. Dodgers (West champion)
  2. Braves (East leader)
  3. Cardinals (Central champion)
  4. Mets (Wild card 1)
  5. Padres (Wild card 2)
  6. Phillies (Wild card 3)

AL Wild Card Series (Best of 3)

  • No. 3 Guardians vs. No. 6 Rays in Cleveland
  • No. 4 Blue Jays vs. No. 5 Mariners in Toronto

NL Wild Card Series (Best of 3)

  • No. 3 Cardinals vs. No. 6 Phillies in St. Louis
  • No. 4 Mets vs. No. 5 Padres in New York

AL Division Series (Best of 5)

  • No. 1 Astros vs. No. 4 Blue Jays or No. 5 Mariners
  • No. 2 Yankees vs. No. 3 Guardians or No. 6 Rays

NL Division Series (Best of 5)

  • No. 1 Dodgers vs. No. 4 Mets or No. 5 Padres
  • No. 2 Braves vs. No. 3 Cardinals or No. 6 Phillies

MLB playoff schedule 2022

This section will be updated when matchups and schedules are set.

How do the MLB playoffs work?

The new playoff structure in each league breaks down as follows:

  • No. 1 seed: Best league record
  • No. 2 seed: Second-best division winner
  • No. 3 seed: Third-best division winner
  • No. 4 seed: Best record among non-division winners
  • No. 5 seed: Second-best record among non-division winners
  • No. 6 seed: Third-best record among non-division winners

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The Nos. 1 and 2 seeds in each league receive a bye in the Wild Card Series. The No. 3 seed will play the No. 6 seed in a best-of-three series, with all games at the higher seed. The setup is the same between the Nos. 4 and 5 seeds; the No. 4 seed will host all games in the series.

The No. 1 seed in each league will play the winner of the 4-5 series and the No. 2 seed will play the 3-6 winner in a best-of-five Division Series. Teams are not reseeded after the Wild Card Series.

From there, the Division Series winners will meet in the best-of-seven League Championship Series. The winners of those series will meet in the best-of-seven World Series.

Regular-season tiebreakers

There are no more Game 163s under the new playoff format. Regular-season ties will be broken in this order:

  1. Head-to-head record
  2. Division record
  3. Interdivision record
  4. Last half of intraleague games
  5. Last half of intraleague games plus one

MLB playoff picture

The playoff field through Oct. 2. The division winners/leaders receive the top three seeds, followed by the three wild-card teams.

American League

Seed Team Record Clinched
1. Astros 104-55 AL West
2. Yankees 97-61 AL East
3. Guardians 90-69 AL Central
4. Blue Jays 90-69 Wild card
5. Mariners 87-71 Wild card
6. Rays 86-73 Wild card

National League

Seed Team Record Clinched
1. Dodgers 110-49 NL West
2. Braves 100-59 Playoffs
3. Cardinals 92-67 NL Central
4. Mets 98-61 Playoffs
5. Padres 87-72 Wild card
6. Phillies 86-73 --
Author(s)
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Kevin Skiver is a content producer at The Sporting News
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