Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
The last of 10 Major League Baseball playoff berths was not awarded until the end of Game 162 of the regular season on Sunday.
The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees clinched the two wildcard spots in the American League to set up a head-to-head matchup on Tuesday.
The AL Wild Card Game kicks off what is expected to be a wild month of postseason baseball.
In the National League, two of the league’s most legendary franchises will face off in its Wild Card Game.
The Los Angeles Dodgers failed to catch the San Francisco Giants in the NL West race, so they will face the fiery St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.
A playoff game in each league is already defined by the winners of the second and third divisions. The No. 1 seed in each league awaits the wild card winner in the Divisional Series.
MLB playoff format
Joker games Tuesday and Wednesday are winner-takes-all affairs.
Boston and New York will face off at Fenway Park on Tuesday. The winner of this contest faces the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS. The Red Sox won the regular season series 10-9, but the Yankees won a sweep on their final trip to Fenway Park.
The Los Angeles-St. Louis, winner of Wednesday’s NL Wild Card Game, travels to San Francisco to face the Giants in the NLDS. Los Angeles went 4-3 against St. Louis in the regular season, and the two teams split a four-game series at Dodger Stadium Sept. 6-9.
If the Dodgers win, it would set up one of the most anticipated NLDS matchups of all time against the Giants. Both were involved in the NL West run until the last day of the regular season and produced the two highest winning totals in baseball.
The Divisional Series has a five-game format.
The highest-ranked team in each game hosts games 1, 2, and 5, while the lowest-ranked team is home for games 3 and 4.
For example, the Atlanta Braves and Chicago White Sox had the worst division-winning records in their respective leagues, so they will start the playoffs on the road.
Atlanta travels to Wisconsin to face the Milwaukee Brewers. The teams shared six regular season games. Their most recent matchup came on Aug. 1, as Atlanta shuffled their order after a frenetic trade deadline that saw him face Jorge Soler, Adam Duvall, Eddie Rosario and Joc Pederson.
In the AL, the White Sox travel to Houston to face the Astros. Houston has won five of seven games between the division winners. The last of these clashes took place on July 18.
San Francisco and the Tampa Bay Rays won the No. 1 seeds in their leagues. They have home court advantage until they are eliminated. The Giants and Rays should have the advantage in Game 1 of their respective series as they will be at home and have two extra days off to organize their pitching squad.
The AL and NL Wild Card Game winners will be without their aces for the first two games of the Divisional Series. Gerrit Cole, Nathan Eovaldi, Max Scherzer and Adam Wainwright could return for either ALDS or NLDS Game 3 depending on how far they go Tuesday and Wednesday.
The winners of the divisional series will advance to the round of the championship series. The ALCS, NLCS and World Series are all seven-game series.