2022 MLB Playoff Preview
By MLB Correspondent Mia Barahona
Guide to the playoff format
For the first time under a new format, this year’s playoff bracket includes a total of 12 teams (6 teams each from the AL and NL), an upgrade from the previous 10 teams in the most recent years. The 6 teams from each league include the 3 division winners (West, Central, and East) along with 3 wild card winners.
The 6 teams from each league will be seeded according to their respective division wins and/or records among fellow wild card teams.
The top 2 seeds get a bye straight into the division series (best-of-5 games) while the #3 seed is hosting the #6 seed and the #4 seed is hosting the #5 seed in the wild card series (best-of-3 games). Winner of the #3 seed/#6 seed play the #2 seed in the division series while winner of the #4 seed/#5 seed play the #1 seed in the division series.
#1 seed: Best League record
#2 seed: 2nd best division winner
#3 seed: 3rd best division winner
#4 seed: Best record among wild card teams
#5 seed: 2nd best record among wild card teams
#6 seed: 3rd best record among wild card teams
2022 Postseason Field
Now that the playoff field is officially all set, let’s take a look at the teams competing for the title in 2022.
#1 seed: Houston Astros
Players to watch: Yordan Alvarez (37 home runs) and Justin Verlander (1.75 ERA)
#2 seed: New York Yankees
Players to watch: Aaron Judge (record breaking 62 home runs, .311 avg. and 131 RBI) and Gerrit Cole (record breaking 257 strikeouts)
AL #3 seed: Cleveland Guardians
Players to watch: Jose Ramirez (126 RBI), Steven Kwan (.298 avg.) and Emmanuel Clase (42 saves and 1.36 ERA)
AL #4 seed: Toronto Blue Jays
Players to watch: Vlad Guerrero Jr. (32 home runs) and Alek Manoah (16 wins)
AL #5 seed: Seattle Mariners
Players to watch: Julio Rodriguez (28 home runs and 25 stolen bases) and Ty France (low 15.3% strikeout rate)
AL #6 seed: Tampa Bay Rays
Players to watch: Shane McClanahan (2.54 ERA) and Drew Rasmussen (125 strikeouts)
NL #1 seed: Los Angeles Dodgers
Players to watch: Mookie Betts (35 home runs) and Freddie Freeman (.325 avg. and 100 RBI)
NL #2 seed: Atlanta Braves
Players to watch: Austin Riley (38 home runs) and Spencer Strider (202 strikeouts)
NL #3 seed: St. Louis Cardinals
Players to watch: Nolan Arenado (30 home runs and 103 RBI) and Paul Goldschmidt (.317 avg., 35 HR and 115 RBI)
NL #4 seed: New York Mets
Players to watch: Pete Alonso (40 home runs and 131 RBI), Max Scherzer (2.29 ERA), Jeff McNeil (.326 avg.) and Edwin Diaz (32 saves and 1.31 ERA)
NL #5 seed: San Diego Padres
Players to watch: Manny Machado (.298 avg., 32 home runs and 102 RBI) and Yu Darvish (16 wins)
NL #6 seed: Philadelphia Phillies
Players to watch: Kyle Schwarber (46 home runs) and Aaron Nola (235 strikeouts)
Schedule & Predictions for Wild Card Series
Friday, October 7 – Sunday, October 9*
*If necessary (Best-of-3 Series) | All wild card games will be streaming on ESPN, ESPN 2 and/or ABC.