MLB Playoff Picture and Bracket

Staff report

With their victory over the D-backs on Tuesday, the Dodgers took the NL West title with plenty of time to spare. Los Angeles reclaims its spot as top dog in the division, as it had won nine straight NL West titles before the Giants took the crown home in 2021. At 98-43, the Dodgers also have a good shot at finishing with a franchise-record 107 wins.

With the Dodgers winning the NL West title, the Padres can now do no better than earn an NL Wild Card spot.

While a lot can happen in the standings between now and when the postseason starts on Oct. 7, here is what the playoff picture looks like heading into Wednesday.

Reminder: As part of the new collective bargaining agreement with the Players Association, Major League Baseball expanded the postseason field from 10 to 12 teams ahead of the 2022 season. Both the AL and NL now have three Wild Card berths (up from two), with the top two seeds in each league receiving first-round byes. The other teams will pair up for the best-of-three Wild Card Series, in which all three games will be played at the home of the higher seed, with winners advancing to the Division Series.

IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY:
AL Wild Card Series (starts Oct. 7)
Best-of-three format (all games at higher seed)
Mariners (6) at Guardians (3)
Rays (5) at Blue Jays (4)

Astros (1) and Yankees (2) have byes

NL Wild Card Series (Oct. 7)
Best-of-three format (all games at higher seed)
Padres(6) at Cardinals (3)
Phillies (5) at Braves (4)

Dodgers (1) and Mets (2) have byes

AL Division Series (starts Oct. 11)
Best-of-five format
Rays/Blue Jays at Astros
Mariners/Guardians at Yankees

NL Division Series (starts Oct. 11)
Best-of-five format
Phillies/Braves at Dodgers
Padres/Cardinals at Mets

Who has clinched: The Dodgers.

Who is next: The Astros (91-50) have a magic number of 3 to clinch a postseason berth.

Tight races to watch
AL Central: Guardians lead White Sox by 3 games
NL East: Mets lead Braves by 0.5 games
AL Wild Card: Blue Jays lead Rays by 0.5 games for 1st berth, Rays lead Mariners via tiebreaker for 2nd berth
NL Wild Card: Phillies lead Padres by 1.5 games for 2nd berth, Padres lead Brewers by 2 games for 3rd berth

Trending up: The Guardians have won five in a row to increase their lead in the AL Central to 3 games over the White Sox and 5 games over the Twins

Trending down: The Rays have lost four out of five games, dropping from the first AL Wild Card spot to the second behind the Blue Jays.

Clinched postseason berth: Dodgers
Almost there (90% postseason odds or better): Mets, Astros, Braves, Yankees, Cardinals, Mariners, Rays, Blue Jays, Phillies
In good shape (50-89% postseason odds): Guardians, Padres
In the mix (10-49% postseason odds): White Sox, Brewers
Still alive (Postseason odds above 0%): Twins, Orioles

By
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