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2022 MLB playoffs: Clinching scenarios, bracket and schedule

Erik Williams/USA TODAY Sports

There are still 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 and New York Mets followed next. Meanwhile, clubs such as the Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays, Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres, are battling it out for the remaining wild-card spots. Beyond division races, there are many storylines to watch as the regular season comes to an end and October begins, such as Seattle's attempt to break a 21-year playoff drought, Aaron Judge's race to 62 home runs and Albert Pujols' quest for 700 career home runs.

Where do the current playoff matchups stand? What series should you be paying attention to in the coming week? And what does the playoff schedule look like? We have everything you need to know as the regular season winds down.

Key links: Standings | Wild-card standings | New tiebreaker format


What are this October's MLB playoff matchups as it stands now?

American League

Wild-card round: (6) Mariners at (3) Guardians, (5) Rays at (4) Blue Jays

ALDS: Mariners/Guardians vs. (2) Yankees*, Rays/Blue Jays vs. (1) Astros*

National League

Wild-card round: (6) Phillies at (3) Cardinals, (5) Padres at (4) Braves*

NLDS: Phillies/Cardinals vs. (2) Mets*, Padres/Braves vs. (1) Dodgers*

*Clinched playoff berth


Who is in?

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers have secured the season's first playoff berth -- L.A.'s 10th straight trip to the postseason -- and followed by clinching the NL West with a win in Arizona on Monday night

Houston Astros

The Astros became the second team to clinch a postseason berth and followed it up by clinching the AL West title, which is Houston's fifth division crown in the past six seasons.

New York Mets

The Mets clinched a playoff spot with Monday's win in Milwaukee. While New York is still chasing the bigger goal of an NL East title and the wild-card round bye that comes with it, this is the team's first playoff appearance since 2016.

Atlanta Braves

While the battle for the NL East will likely come down to the wire, the defending champion Braves clinched a return to the postseason on Tuesday.

New York Yankees

The Yankees clinched their sixth straight playoff berth with a walk-off win over the Red Sox on Thursday night and now turn their attention to wrapping up the AL East.


Who could be next?

St. Louis is counting down to a likely NL Central title thanks to a comfortable division lead over Milwaukee and the Guardians are doing the same in the AL Central after a three-game sweep of the second-place White Sox.


Key upcoming series

Red Sox at Yankees: Sept. 22-25

The Yankees clinched a playoff spot in the opener of a four-game series with their rivals as they look to put the AL East race out of reach.

Cardinals at Dodgers: Sept. 23-25

The Dodgers have the franchise single-season wins record within reach entering a matchup with a Cardinals team on the verge of wrapping up the NL Central title.

Braves at Phillies: Sept. 22-25

The Braves enter this NL East showdown in a back-and-forth race with the Mets for the top of the division while the Phillies have a chance to solidify their NL wild-card position.

Blue Jays at Rays: Sept. 22-25

A four-game set between AL East foes will go a long way in deciding who hosts a wild-card round series and who starts this postseason on the road.


Playoff schedule

Wild-card round
Best of three, all games at better seed's stadium

Game 1: Friday, Oct. 7
Game 2: Saturday, Oct. 8
Game 3: Sunday, Oct. 9*

Division series
Best of five

ALDS
Game 1: Tuesday, Oct. 11
Game 2: Thursday, Oct. 13
Game 3: Saturday Oct. 15
Game 4: Sunday, Oct. 16*
Game 5: Monday, Oct. 17*

NLDS
Game 1: Tuesday, Oct. 11
Game 2: Wednesday, Oct. 12
Game 3: Friday, Oct. 14
Game 4: Saturday, Oct. 15*
Game 5: Sunday, Oct. 16*

Division series
Best of five

ALCS
Game 1: Wednesday, Oct. 19
Game 2: Thursday, Oct. 20
Game 3: Saturday Oct. 22
Game 4: Sunday, Oct. 23
Game 5: Monday, Oct. 24*
Game 6: Tuesday, Oct. 25*
Game 7: Wednesday Oct. 26*

NLCS
Game 1: Tuesday, Oct. 18
Game 2: Wednesday, Oct. 19
Game 3: Friday, Oct. 21
Game 4: Saturday, Oct. 22
Game 5: Sunday, Oct. 23*
Game 6: Monday, Oct. 24*
Game 7: Tuesday, Oct. 25*

World Series
Best of seven

Game 1: Friday, Oct. 28
Game 2: Saturday, Oct. 29
Game 3: Monday, Oct. 31
Game 4: Tuesday, Nov. 1
Game 5: Wednesday, Nov. 2*
Game 6: Friday, Nov. 4*
Game 7: Saturday, Nov. 5*

* If necessary