The third-best division champion in each league will be the 3-seed in the playoffs, and face off in a best-of-three series against the 6-seed, the wild card team with the worst record. The top two wild card teams in each league will play each other in a best-of-three series.
In Major League Baseball (MLB), the wild card teams are the three teams in each of the two leagues (American and National) that have qualified for the postseason despite failing to win their 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The Wild Card Game has been replaced by the best-of-three Wild Card Series, which functions as the first round of play.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 four wild-card round participants in each league comprise the division winner with the worst record among division winners and the three non-division winners with the best records. That division winner is automatically the No. 3 seed regardless of whether one or all of the other wild-card teams has a better record.
The winners of the American League Championship Series (ALCS) and the National League Championship Series (NLCS) play each other in the best-of-seven World Series. The current system allows for up to 54 postseason games and at least 32 games.
1995: With MLB’s realignment into three divisions per league the year before, the Division Series was born. The six division winners plus one Wild Card in each league are pitted in the best-of-five series.
The game seven is comparable to a final or to a single game in a single-elimination tournament or to a one-game playoff. A championship series’ game seven is equivalent to the Super Bowl game in the National Football League in that the game’s winner is the league’s champion for the season.
The American League Championship Series (ALCS) is a best-of-seven playoff and one of two League Championship Series comprising the penultimate round of Major League Baseball’s (MLB) postseason. It is contested by the winners of the two American League (AL) Division Series.
The Division Series is the quarterfinal round of the Major League Baseball playoffs. Four series are played in this round, two each for both the American League and the National League.
The top two seeds of the American and National leagues will receive first-round byes into the Division Series (DS) and the other two division winners will be the third seed in their respective league. The three Wild Card teams will be the fourth, fifth and sixth seeds.
The playoff format now includes four division winners and two wild-card teams from each conference. The Wild Card games that kick off the post-season play feature two division winners hosting wild-card teams.
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.
A single wild card game was first instituted in 2012; best-of-three playoff wild card series were adopted for the 2022 season. Under the current playoff structure, there are two series in both the American League (AL) and National League (NL).
16-21, 2022, and Panama City, Panama, Sept. 30-Oct. 5, 2022. Twelve teams, six from the American League and six from the National League, will compete in an elimination tournament for Major League Baseball’s ultimate prize — a World Series championship.
The Los Angeles Dodgers (106-47) own the best record in the sport, and after clinching the division on Sept. 13, they clinched the No. 1 overall seed throughout the NL playoffs on Sunday. The San Diego Padres (85-68) currently hold the second wild card.
World Series Champions
|2021||Atlanta Braves||Houston Astros|
|2020||Los Angeles Dodgers||Tampa Bay Rays|
|2019||Washington Nationals||Houston Astros|
There are still a couple weeks left to go in the 2022 MLB regular season, but a few teams are already looking toward October. The Dodgers have officially secured the season’s first playoff berth, and the Houston Astros, New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees and Cleveland Guardians followed next.
“Postseason achievements are not counted by MLB in players’ career statistics, which are an accumulation of performance numbers during regular-season play. However, players do have career postseason statistics kept, only separate from the regular career numbers,” says BaseballScouter.com.
How much do umpires make in the MLB? In Major League Baseball, professional umpires just starting to work pro-level games begin with a salary around $120,000 per year, according to the Major League Baseball association. Senior umpires with more experience can earn upwards of $350,000 per year.
The Wild Card game is a playoff game between two teams that didn’t win their respective league. In the NFL, all teams playing Wild Card games can participate in the Super Bowl.