MLB playoffs How many teams make the playoffs in 2022 and what’s the road to the World Series?
After a lockout, delayed start to the season, and a new homerun king in the AL the MLB playoffs are here, but the postseason will have a new look this year.
Wednesday night marks the final night of the MLB regular season. The marathon comes to a close for some teams as other set their sights on the postseason. This year the playoffs will have a new look about them as the league has refurbished the structure to generate more interest and more income.
Phillies earn the last playoff spot
On Monday, the Philadelphia Phillies wrapped the last available playoff spot when they beat the Houston Astros 3-0 to secure their post season future. They were the 12th team in the league and sixth team in the National League to qualify for fall baseball.
Before this year the playoffs had a 10 team set up with five teams going to the postseason from the American League and five going from the National League. This year there will be a 12 game system consisting of six teams from the NL, three division winners and three wild cards, and likewise in the AL.
After this year’s lockout the Collective Bargaining Agreement was agreed on by the MLB and the Players Association, and that means the playoff format will doesn’t just amplify to 12 teams, there will be massive changes across the board.
Three division winners get top three seeds in each league
First off, the single game wild-card that we have grown used to over the last years has disappeared. The new wild card participant in each of the leagues will be the team that finish with the third best record of a non-division winning team. That team will qualify for the Wild Card Series which will feature the division winner with the lowest record and the rest of the three wild cards.
In this round, the division winners with the two best records in both the NL and AL will have a bye as the other teams battle it out in a three game series. The third placed division winner will automatically be the No. 3 seed even if a wild card team has a better record.
The third seed will play the sixth seed and the five seed will play the four seed. In the best of three series, all three games, if necessary, will be played at the higher seeds stadium, so the lower seed will not get a game on their home diamond during the series.
Cash rules everything around MLB
With the new blueprint to the end of the regular season and start of the postseason, there will be no 163rd game. Instead a mathematical tie break system has been put in place to avoid any teams having to play an extra game of the regular season.
Once the wild card series is finished the the winners will move on to the Divisional Series, with the winner of the 3 vs. 6 matchup taking on the top seed in the league and the winner of the 4 vs. 5 series going on to play the top seed in the league.
Ultimately, the decision to switch the postseason format came down to cash. Playoff games are more lucrative for teams, and the more playoff games there are, the better.