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

When do the MLB playoffs start in 2022

Who will win it all in 2022? Let’s fill out some brackets before the party gets started Friday

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

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.

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

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

MORE: Aaron Judge Triple Crown tracker, updated stats

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.

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

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

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

Major League Baseball’s postseason will begin on Friday with the first edition of the best-of-three Wild Card Series. This year’s tournament features more teams (12) than in years gone by in accordance with the playoff expansion baked into the new collective bargaining agreement. The top two seeds in each league (Dodgers, Braves, Astros and Yankees) earned a first-round bye, while the other eight teams will square off in best-of-three series over the weekend (Guardians-Rays, Blue Jays-Mariners, Cardinals-Phillies and Mets-Padres are the four matchups).

From there, the postseason will take its normal shape: a best-of-five League Division Series; a best-of-seven League Championship Series; and then the best-of-seven World Series.

We here at CBS Sports are legally obligated to make a fool of ourselves every October by attempting to forecast how the next few weeks will play out. Below, you’ll find our staff’s predictions, along with a short explanation for their choices. (The staff is presented in alphabetical order.)

Our first look at baseball’s new MLB playoff format was intense, compact, frenetic and, let’s face it, a little bit random. One team whose spot in the tournament wasn’t clinched until the closing days of the season, the Philadelphia Phillies, earned a date with the defending champion Atlanta Braves. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Cardinals — a division champion playing a wild-card series — are done after a dispiriting stretch that from start to finish lasted around 30 hours.

Those were just two outcomes from a playoff weekend unlike anything we’d see under the old format. Now we’re about to return to rhythms mostly familiar from postseasons in years past. The “mostly” qualifier is needed because it’s still not quite normal due to schedule tweaks necessitated by baseball’s late start last spring. But it’s still the division series: four series, best-of-five, first team to win three advances.

While the four wild-card round survivors put themselves through initial playoff stress tests, the top two seeds in each league were taking it easy, comparatively. They were holding workouts (or not showing up for them, in the case of the New York Yankees’ Aroldis Chapman), doing a little bit of media and waiting to find out whom they’d face in the division series. Now that baseball’s version of the elite eight is set, let’s peek ahead to the next round through the prism of what we saw over the weekend.

The Braves, Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros won 417 games between them during the season, but that now all rolls back to zero as they face four teams that hope to have momentum on their side after getting through the opening gantlet. Just how have their prospects changed over the past three days — or have they not changed at all?

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

Houston Astros
Opponent: Seattle Mariners

After all the talk about the American League East being baseball’s best division, the only group with two teams in the division series turns out to be the West. Houston will take on division foe Seattle after winning the division by 16 games over the M’s during the 162-game season. The Astros won 12 of 19 against Seattle en route to their fifth AL West title in six seasons.


Padres-Dodgers NLDS is set: Everything you need to know about the eight remaining MLB playoff teams

2022 MLB playoffs: Our predictions from the wild-card games through the World Series

October ace tiers: Ranking the top starting pitchers in the 2022 MLB playoffs
1dKiley McDaniel
However, watching the unflappable Mariners dispatch the Toronto Blue Jays over two days in a frenetic atmosphere at Rogers Centre this past weekend makes exactly none of that feel especially predictive about what we’ll see over the next week. The reason for that is a special kind of postseason momentum, an ethereal concept that we really can prove only after the fact. Whatever it is, it feels like Seattle has it.

Momentum exists only until it doesn’t, which is why it’s not a reliable analytical instrument. But there are things coming together for the Mariners that we saw manifest against Toronto. You have an ace in Luis Castillo on top of his game against a great lineup in a high-impact game. You have a hot reliever in Andres Munoz who can look untouchable. You have the unshakable fountain of youthful confidence in the form of Julio Rodriguez. You have an emergent folk hero in Cal Raleigh. You have an X factor on the pitching staff in rookie George Kirby, a starter who looked right at home closing out the Blue Jays.

Make no mistake, the Astros remain a strong favorite in the series, as they would have been against Toronto. Houston is a complete team with playoff-tested veterans leading the lineup, elite defense and perhaps the deepest and most versatile pitching staff in the postseason. Houston’s Justin Verlander will make his 31st postseason start in Game 1 on Tuesday, while Seattle’s Logan Gilbert will make his first … probably.

Verlander has been resting since a five-inning outing on Oct. 4 to finish what might turn out to be his third Cy Young-winning season. That will end up being six days of rest. This season, Verlander went 6-1 with a 0.63 ERA when going on six or more days of rest. These facts ought to be highly comforting to Astros fans who might be chomping at the bit.

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

After that, things are more up in the air. The biggest question in the series is how Seattle will maximize Castillo. Because there are scheduled days off after the first and second games of the series, for the Mariners to get two outings out of Castillo, they’ll have to use him on short rest at some point. Castillo has never made a start on three days’ rest in the regular season.

There are two choices: Start Castillo in Game 1 against Verlander and bring him back on normal rest for Game 4, if the series goes that far. Or start him in Game 2, then if the series goes the distance, you can bring him back for Game 5. Either way, for the Mariners, the more they see of Castillo the better. The opposite is true for the Astros.

Other than that, the other factors that might skew toward Seattle are soft and emotion-based — though that doesn’t mean they won’t matter. The Mariners have the look of a team gathering momentum at just the right time, like the Braves did last October. In Game 3, they’ll receive a major boost from a home crowd in Seattle that has been starving for playoff baseball for 21 years. And if there is a Game 4, the atmosphere will be even more intense then.

The Astros have been sitting back, resting up and getting ready to ramp up to playoff intensity. The Mariners will be surfing into Houston riding a wave of it.

Houston’s concern level: Rising

New York Yankees
Opponent: Cleveland Guardians

When do the MLB playoffs start in 2022

Whether facing the Rays or the Guardians, the Yankees’ biggest concern remains the Yankees. And those concerns may or may not have been accentuated by the news that Chapman skipped a mandatory workout and will not be on New York’s American League Division Series roster. On one hand, this team was designed to have Chapman as an end-of-the-game hammer. On the other, he has been undependable enough that maybe it’s for the best if he watches from Florida.

Anyway, if the Yankees were paying attention to the Cleveland-Tampa Bay matchup, they realized a couple of things. First, that they probably won’t have to score a ton of runs to beat Cleveland. Second, that it’s a good thing, because they aren’t likely to score a ton of runs against Terry Francona’s run prevention dynamo.

It’s October!

The 2022 MLB playoffs are here — and we have everything you need to know for a jam-packed LDS.

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

Postseason mega preview »
Schedule, bracket, standings »
Our experts’ predictions for every series »

Like the Mariners have with their ace Castillo, the Guardians face a quandary about how to set up their rotation against the Yankees. If they wanted to push Shane Bieber on short rest, they could have him in Games 1 and 4. Doing it that way means Triston McKenzie could start Game 2 on normal rest because of the off day after Game 1. Otherwise, he’d be going in Game 3, a full week after his weekend start against the Rays.

More likely, it’ll be Cal Quantrill in Game 1 and again in Game 4, while Bieber would go in Game 2 and McKenzie in Game 3. Bieber could then take the hill on short rest in a Game 5 if the series goes the distance. Quantrill is good enough that optimistic Guardians fans can hold out hope that he, Bieber and McKenzie run the table and short-rest scenarios won’t matter.

No matter what order Francona goes with, the hope for each of the starters will be to just get the game to Emmanuel Clase and Cleveland’s other high-octane relievers, all of whom will begin the ALDS with two full days of rest because of the Guardians’ sweep against the Rays. The Guardians’ edge over the Yankees in the bullpen matchup might not be as stark as that of the Yankees’ offense against the Cleveland offense, but when you factor in the challenge presented by the Guardians’ pitching and defense, it’s in that neighborhood.

None of this will matter if the Guardians don’t score more than the average of 1.2 runs per nine innings they put up against Tampa Bay. Whether or not that happens will be up to a Yankees staff that very much feels like it’s still in flux at just the wrong time of the season.

New York’s concern level: Boiling over

Atlanta Braves
Opponent: Philadelphia Phillies

When do the MLB playoffs start in 2022

This is another LDS matchup between division opponents who weren’t particularly close to each other in the standings. The Braves beat the Phillies 11 out of 19 head-to-head meetings and finished 14 games better than the Phils in the NL East. In the old format, the Phillies would never have even gotten this opportunity because 6-seeds weren’t a thing.

But here they are, and Philadelphia’s next challenge will be a notch or two tougher than the one it faced against a very good St. Louis club. The Braves are the defending champs, first of all, and most of their roster has been through this before. And while we haven’t had a repeat champ since the 2000 Yankees, that’s a streak that is ripe to be broken, especially by a team that is in most ways better than the one that won it all last year.

Who will be next to 3K hits, 500 HRs?

Breaking down the next generation of stars to reach baseball’s most iconic offensive milestones when sluggers Miguel Cabrera and Albert Pujols retire.

Future milestone watch »

When do the MLB playoffs start in 2022

There are two big things you look for in a postseason team primed to go on a surprising run: a hot bullpen that almost makes the manager’s decisions for him, and a red-hot hitter or two. The Braves had both things emerge last October. The Phillies didn’t really establish anything like that in their wild-card series win, but you can see what such a thing might look like.

Starting with the hitters, Bryce Harper’s Game 2 homer against the Cardinals was just one hit, but it was an encouraging sign for a club that really could use its best player going on a spree. Harper has had terrible health luck all season and his numbers were headed in the wrong direction down the stretch. The homer, a 435-foot bomb that left the bat at 112 mph off Miles Mikolas, was a bomb.

When do the MLB playoffs start in 2022

One hit, even one like that, is just one hit. But sometimes when a slugger squares one up like that it can be a sign that things are coming back into sync. If that’s the case, look out. Even so, the Phillies will need more than a hot Harper to beat Atlanta.

The bullpen part of the equation is also hard to read. Jose Alvarado has been dominant, and manager Rob Thomson can align him with the highest-leverage spots in the late innings to get three, four or even five outs. And Zach Eflin, normally a starter, looked like a promising end-of-game option in both games at St. Louis.

Tack on a one-two rotation punch of Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola that allowed zero runs over 13 innings in St. Louis, and there are some elements that appear to be aligning at the right time for the Phillies. Then again, one could argue that a lot of what went right for the Phillies over the weekend was simply the flip side of the many things that went wrong for the Cardinals.

When do the MLB playoffs start in 2022

Either way, the Braves are fully stocked, rested, confident and totally unconcerned about what may or may not be happening on the Phillies’ roster.

Atlanta’s concern level: Steady and low

Los Angeles Dodgers
Opponent: San Diego Padres

When do the MLB playoffs start in 2022

We already pointed out how the Braves have to re-prove themselves against the Phillies, whom they finished ahead of by 14 games during the season. And the Astros have to do the same against the Mariners, who finished 16 games back of them. Well, the Dodgers might say, “Hold my beer.” That’s because the Dodgers are now matched against a rival whom they buried by 22 games during the season. In fact, the Padres weren’t even within 10 games of the Dodgers after the middle of July. And, oh yeah, the Dodgers beat San Diego 14 out of 19 times the teams played head-to-head.

When do the MLB playoffs start in 2022

So even after the Padres beat the 101-win Mets over three games at Citi Field, it’s going to be difficult to build a case that the Dodgers should be concerned about their SoCal foes beyond the usual acknowledgment of the randomness of playoff baseball and the vagaries of a short series.

The Padres’ starting pitching, which was so sharp down the stretch in lifting San Diego into the playoffs in the first place, remains on a roll. Yes, Blake Snell walked everyone from here to Staten Island on Saturday night, but he has been terrific over the past few weeks. Meanwhile, Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove both dominated in their outings against the Mets.

Are the Dodgers a dynasty?

Since 2019, the Dodgers have more than 350 wins — but just one World Series title. What does that mean for their legacy?

Alden Gonzalez »

When do the MLB playoffs start in 2022

However, by virtue of being the one wild-card winner to play on Sunday, the Padres will feel the full brunt of a format designed to reward those who earn a bye. This, along with the fact that the Padres couldn’t bring Max Scherzer or Jacob deGrom along with them on their cross-country flight, is much to the Dodgers’ collective delight.

The rotation puzzle for the Padres is complicated not just by their three-game set in New York because if Bob Melvin wants to keep his starters on normal rest, he’ll have to use his No. 4 starter in Games 1 and 5 against the Dodgers. The other option is a short rest outing in Game 5 by Darvish, if the Padres can get there.

The problem: While Darvish, Snell and Musgrove have been on point down the stretch, the same can’t be said of either Mike Clevinger, who has been ill, or Sean Manaea, the most likely fourth-starter options. It’s hard to envision the Padres getting past the Dodgers without getting more than one start from one or two of their hot starters, but that’s going to mean working on short rest.

This problem is exacerbated by the Padres’ top-heavy bullpen, which might have to put its depth to the test a little more than they’d like. Because of the way the games played out, the Padres didn’t have to ask much from Josh Hader, so maybe he can be leaned on a little more heavily against L.A.

Even so, the best formula for the Padres is to minimize the number of outs they need from the bridge guys between the starters and Hader. That’s going to be challenging not only because of where the rotation is right now in terms of usage but also because the Padres will be going up against a Dodgers lineup that makes it awfully tough to work deep into games even in the best of circumstances.

When do the MLB playoffs start in 2022

The win over the Mets was a great achievement for a Padres squad that has been through a lot this season. But there was little in that victory to suggest the Padres have closed the gap with the 111-win Dodgers. If anything, the opposite might have happened. But given the history between those teams, the next round is going to be an awful lot of fun anyway.

Los Angeles’ concern level: “It never rains in Southern California”

Related posts

Leave a Comment