September 30, 2022

Explaining the new MLB playoff format

MLB is proposing a new playoff format for 2022 and beyond. It was a dramatic summer for baseball. Here’s everything you need to know about the new post-season format and how it may affect your favorite team.

After five months of baseball, there are eighteen teams currently in possession of a playoff spot or within reach of one. The story of the season is the latest set of MLB rules which includes 142 intra-league games and twenty inter-league games, which created exciting moments. Next year, each team will see each other for at least two games. Although the big story is the formatting of the playoffs which will now feature twelve teams and another wildcard spot in each league.

New MLB playoff format

The bracket-style playoffs involve twelve teams, six from each league, moving from the previously used ten-game format. This includes the three division winners in each league and three wildcard teams. There are two more wildcard slots to fight at the moment, creating more competition. The number one and two seeds will receive first-round byes and advance directly to the Wild Division Series.

Another change is that the single-elimination joker game, which was used from 2012 to 2021, will be replaced. A best of three set of wildcards has been implemented starting this year. Each match in the wild card series will be played at the home park of the team with the highest seed. The games will be scheduled to take place within a three-day window. So, Division winners with byes won’t have to wait long to start the Division Series. Therefore, the winners of the wildcard series will advance to the splitting series while the loser is eliminated.

More to know

This new format creates a more competitive and level playing field. These series will be fun to watch and might interest fans more. There may be different teams this year due to the extra wild card. Right now, there are plenty of AL East and NL West teams in the mix for the extra spots. There is one month left in the regular season, so things could change before the playoffs.

Additionally, the Division Series will remain five games as usual. The League Championship Series and Wildcard Series will remain the same. Another thing to know about the new changes is that tiebreaker games, known as the 163 game, will be eliminated. Instead, all ties will be resolved by a mathematical formula starting with head-to-head records. We may see this new rule come into play soon.

It will be interesting to see how the new playoff format works out. The wild card and bracket style add freshness to the game. A few tweaks will be made, but it’s nice to see MLB trying something new. Stay tuned for more MLB playoff news.

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