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2022 MLB playoffs: Clinching scenarios, bracket and schedule

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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, Cleveland Guardians and St. Louis Cardinals 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' reaching 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 secured the season's first playoff berth -- L.A.'s 10th straight trip to the postseason -- and followed that by clinching the NL West with a win in Arizona the next day.

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 Max Scherzer's 200th career 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 the day after the Mets.

New York Yankees

The Yankees secured their sixth straight playoff berth with a walk-off win over the Red Sox and then wrapped up the AL East title with a win at Toronto on Tuesday.

Cleveland Guardians

The Guardians clinched the AL Central for the first time since 2018 with a 10-4 win over Texas on Sunday afternoon, becoming the sixth team to secure a postseason berth.

St. Louis Cardinals

With a win over the division-rival Brewers on Tuesday night, the Cardinals took home the NL Central title and secured a playoff spot.


Who could be next?

The top seven squads in the league are all on to October. Of the five remaining wild-card contenders -- Philadelphia, San Diego, Toronto, Tampa Bay and Seattle -- the Blue Jays are the closest to clinching a playoff spot.


Key upcoming series

Yankees at Blue Jays: Sept. 26-28

The Yankees look to clinch AL East race in a three-game series against a Blue Jays team that is trying to keep the Mariners and Rays at bay to maintain its No. 4 seed.

Cardinals at Brewers: Sept. 27-28

A two-game set between NL Central foes might be less enticing with the Brewers so many games behind, but it is worth watching with the Cardinals on the verge of clinching the division.

Dodgers at Padres: Sept. 27-29

The Dodgers have the franchise single-season wins record within reach, while the Padres are battling the Phillies and the surging Brewers for wild-card positioning.

Rays at Guardians: Sept. 27-29

Cleveland has now clinched the AL Central but will look to keep proving itself against fellow playoff contenders. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay is locked in back-and-forth wild-card race with Seattle and Toronto.


Playoff schedule

Wild Card Series
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*

League Championship Series
Best of seven

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