The MLB Playoff Format Explained

MLB Oct 05, 2022

The 2022 Major League Baseball playoff field is now set and all the seeds are locked in.  Here's the Wild Card Series schedule and the playoff format explained.

The new wild card series format gives the top two teams in both leagues a bye.  

The remaining four teams in each league will play a "best 2 of 3" series.  

All three games will be played on consecutive days -- Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (if necessary) -- in the same ballpark with no travel.

Here are the series prices (odds) for each wild card series at SPREADS.CA:

American League

Byes:  No. 1 Houston Astros and No. 2 New York Yankees

Wild Card Series: No. 5 Seattle Mariners at No. 4 Toronto Blue Jays

Wild Card Series: No. 6 Tampa Bay Rays at No. 3 Cleveland Guardians

There won't be re-seeding, either, so the winner of the Rays-Guardians series faces the Yankees in the ALDS while the Mariners-Blue Jays winner heads to Houston.

National League

Byes: No. 1 Los Angeles Dodgers and No. 2 Atlanta Braves

Wild Card Series: No. 5. San Diego Padres at No. 4 New York Mets

Wild Card Series: No. 6. Philadelphia Phillies at No. 3 St. Louis Cardinals

As noted, there isn't re-seeding after the first round. It's a locked bracket, so the winner of the Padres-Mets gets the Dodgers in the NLDS while the winner of the Phillies-Cardinals series gets the defending champion Braves.

The individual game times haven't been assigned yet, but we know all four series will be played Friday, Saturday and, if necessary, the clinching Game 3 would be played Sunday.