Sports

MLB playoff tracker: Who can clinch next, key series and current playoff bracket

There are still weeks left to go in the 2022 MLB regular season, but a few teams — mainly the red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers — are already looking toward October.

The Dodgers clinched the season’s first playoff berth on Sunday night. Now the Houston Astros, New York Mets, and Atlanta Braves, to name a few teams, are on track to secure their own postseason spots sooner than their counterparts. 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? When will the Dodgers clinch the NL West? 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 | Guide to every race (ESPN+)


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

American League

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

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

National League

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

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

*Clinched playoff berth


Who is in the 2022 MLB playoff field?

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers became the first team to punch a ticket to this year’s MLB playoffs — L.A.’s 10th straight trip to the postseason — with a win over the Padres on Sunday night and now have their sights set on the NL West title.


Who can clinch next?

Houston Astros

With a comfortable lead over the Seattle Mariners in the AL West race, the Astros are counting down to a likely fifth straight division title.


Key upcoming series

Giants at Braves: Sept. 12-14

With their own playoff chances all but gone, San Francisco will try to play spoiler against a Braves team locked in a back-and-forth battle for the top of the NL East standings.

Cubs at Mets: Sept. 12-14

The Mets have regained their stride — and the NL East lead — heading into three games against the Cubs.

Brewers at Cardinals: Sept. 13-14

Two games with the NL Central-leading Cardinals is just the beginning for the Brewers as they open up a seven-game stretch against St. Louis, the Yankees and Mets, with their wild-card hopes starting to dwindle.


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: Thursday, Oct. 13
Game 3: Saturday Oct. 15
Game 4: Sunday, Oct. 16*
Game 5: Monday, Oct. 17*

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: Monday, Oct. 24*
Game 6: Tuesday, Oct. 25*
Game 7: Wednesday, Oct. 26*

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

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