How Do the Wildcards work in MLB? In baseball, any team that doesn’t win its own division is eligible to make the playoffs as a Wild Card team. Essentially, the Wild Card standings are made up of every team in each league that isn’t at the top of its division.
The new, 12-team playoff format
The Wild Card Game has been replaced by the best-of-three Wild Card Series, which functions as the first round of play. The higher seed in each Wild Card Series will host all the games of that series, be it two or the maximum three games.
The wild-card game has been eliminated and gone is the one-game playoff to break ties in the standings. Instead, the league has introduced a three-game wild-card series. Additionally, MLB has widened the playoff field from 10 to 12 teams.
MLB now will give us four, best-of-three wild-card series that will start on Oct. 7.
How many teams qualify for the MLB playoffs? Six teams each from the American League and National League will make the postseason field — the three division winners in each league and three additional wild-card teams in each league with the next best records.
The top two division winners in each league will receive byes to the Division Series. The other four teams in each league will play best-of-three series in the Wild Card round, with the higher seed hosting all three games.
This year’s postseason will feature a new format, expanding the pool of teams from 10 to 12 and replacing the two single-elimination Wild Card Games with four best-of-three Wild Card Series, to be followed by the best-of-five Division Series.
League Championship Series (ALCS and NLCS)
The field expands from 10 teams to 12, and the bygone Wild Card Game has been replaced with the best-of-three Wild Card Series, which doubles as the opening round. In order to get from 10 teams to 12, each league has added one wild-card entrant. But that isn’t the only wrinkle, as we’re about to detail.
The new, 12-team playoff format
The postseason field grows from 10 teams to 12 teams with the addition of an extra wild-card entrant in each league. The Wild Card Game has been replaced by the best-of-three Wild Card Series, which functions as the first round of play.
All signs point to Toronto facing off against the Tampa Bay Rays in the wildcard series. The head-to-head record between the two teams is split almost evenly, with the Rays winning 10 games to the Jays’ nine. Toronto has a slightly better overall record for the 2022 season, with 87 wins versus 85 for Tampa Bay.
In order to determine the champion of Major League Baseball in the U.S. and Canada, the winners from the National League and the American League play the “World Series.” The Series consists of seven games. If a team wins four out of the seven games, they are the champions.
The Los Angeles Dodgers officially secured the season’s first playoff berth, and the Houston Astros, New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, Cleveland Guardians and St. Louis Cardinals followed next.
Blue Jays clinch 2022 AL Wild Card spot.
The Blue Jays popped champagne and sprayed beer, celebrating their clinched spot in the 2022 MLB postseason.
Gotta See It: Blue Jays celebrate with team photo after clinching Wild Card spot. Watch as the Blue Jays gather on the Rogers Centre field after getting the party started in the locker room to take a team photo while celebrating their postseason berth.
The Wild Card Series (formerly known as Wild Card Game prior to 2022) are games that serve as the opening round of the Major League Baseball (MLB) postseason. A single wild card game was first instituted in 2012; best-of-three playoff wild card series were adopted for the 2022 season.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—The Tampa Bay Rays have clinched a berth in Major League Baseball’s postseason for a fourth consecutive season, extending the longest such streak in franchise history.
Padres steady in Wild Card race despite 10-inning loss.
Each league will have six playoff teams — three division winners and three wild-card teams — up from five in previous years.
2020: 16-team Wild Card Round
On July 23, 2020, MLBPA and the owners agreed to expand to a 16-team playoff structure for the 2020 season.
The World Series pits the champion of the American League against the champion of the National League to determine an overall winner. Each league is divided into three divisions each – West, Central and East. The team with the best record in each division gets an automatic playoff berth.
The Blue Jays punched their ticket. With the Orioles falling to the Red Sox on Thursday, Toronto clinched a spot in the 2022 Major League Baseball postseason. They’ll be one of three Wild Card teams in the American League, though seeding and home-field advantage are still up for grabs with six games to play.
The 12-team Playoff will be made up of the six conference champions ranked highest by the committee, with no minimum ranking requirement, and the six highest-ranked teams not among the conference champions. The four highest-ranked conference champions will be seeded Nos. 1 through 4 and will receive a first-round bye.