MLB Playoff Picture 2022: Breaking Down Standings and Current Postseason Bracket

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVAugust 28, 2022

Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With just over a month remaining in the 2022 MLB season, the playoff picture is beginning to gain clarity.

Four of the six division leaders have at least a five-game lead through Sunday's action. Even with an extra wild card in each league, only one team in the National League that's not in the current playoff bracket is within five games of a wild-card spot. Only two teams chasing a wild-card spot in the American League are within five games.

There is still a chance for those down in the standings to catch up with a strong September, but time is running out.

Here is a look at the postseason bracket as of Aug. 28, along with the latest standings.

Current Playoff Picture

American League

No. 1 seed: Houston Astros (82-47), first-round bye

No. 2 seed: New York Yankees (78-50), first-round bye

No. 3 seed: Cleveland Guardians (67-59) vs. No. 6 seed: Toronto Blue Jays (68-58)

No. 4 seed: Tampa Bay Rays (70-57) vs. No. 5 seed: Seattle Mariners (70-58)

National League

No. 1 seed: Los Angeles Dodgers (88-38), first-round bye

No. 2 seed: New York Mets (82-47), first-round bye

No. 3 seed: St. Louis Cardinals (74-54) vs. No. 6 seed: San Diego Padres (70-59)

No. 4 seed: Atlanta Braves (79-50) vs. No. 5 seed: Philadelphia Phillies (72-56)

Full Standings

AL East

  1. New York Yankees: 78-50
  2. Tampa Bay Rays: 70-57, 7.5 GB
  3. Toronto Blue Jays: 68-58, 9.0 GB
  4. Baltimore Orioles: 67-60, 10.5 GB
  5. Boston Red Sox: 62-66, 16.0 GB

AL Central

  1. Cleveland Guardians: 67-59
  2. Minnesota Twins: 65-61, 2.0 GB
  3. Chicago White Sox: 63-65, 5.0 GB
  4. Kansas City Royals: 52-77, 16.5 GB
  5. Detroit Tigers: 50-78, 18.0 GB

AL West

  1. Houston Astros: 82-47
  2. Seattle Mariners: 70-58, 11.5 GB
  3. Texas Rangers: 58-69, 23.0 GB
  4. Los Angeles Angels: 55-73, 26.5 GB
  5. Oakland Athletics: 48-81, 34.0 GB

NL East

  1. New York Mets: 82-47
  2. Atlanta Braves: 79-50, 3.0 GB
  3. Philadelphia Phillies: 72-56, 9.5 GB
  4. Miami Marlins: 55-72, 26.0 GB
  5. Washington Nationals: 43-85, 38.5 GB

NL Central

  1. St. Louis Cardinals: 74-54
  2. Milwaukee Brewers: 67-59, 6.0 GB
  3. Chicago Cubs: 55-73, 19.0 GB
  4. Cincinnati Reds: 50-76, 23.0 GB
  5. Pittsburgh Pirates: 48-79, 25.5 GB

NL West

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers: 88-38
  2. San Diego Padres: 70-59, 19.5 GB
  3. San Francisco Giants: 61-65, 27 GB
  4. Arizona Diamondbacks: 59-67, 29 GB
  5. Colorado Rockies: 55-74, 34.5 GB

Perception can change quickly in baseball, and the New York Yankees showcased quite a turnaround over the past week.

The sky was falling for much of the second half of the year for the Bronx Bombers, losing 20 of the first 29 games after the All-Star break. The squad then turned things around with six straight wins last week, including two over the cross-town rival New York Mets, and still have a 7.5-game lead in the AL East.

Back-to-back losses to the Oakland Athletics won't go over well with the fanbase, but the squad is still poised to win the division and earn a first-round bye in the playoffs. If the talented roster can turn it on from there, this is still a clear title contender.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros are also well on their way to a first-round bye, building double-digit leads in their division. Both squads have loads of playoff experienceโ€”each with three league titles and a World Series championship since 2017โ€”and they shouldn't slow down even with the new playoff format. The bye should only give an extra advantage to the elite teams.

The battle for the fourth bye could be the best race to watch down the stretch of the season.

The Mets have held off the Atlanta Braves for much of the season, but the defending champions clearly aren't backing down with a strong second half of the year.

Both teams are expected to make the playoffs with FanGraphs giving each 100 percent odds of a postseason berth. The division title could still be important as the difference between a No. 2 seed and a No. 4 seed. The second seed gets a bye, while the fourth has to play an extra best-of-three wild-card series with a likely date with the Dodgers in the division series.

The battle could come down to the penultimate series of the season, Mets at Braves from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2.

In the wild-card races, the Milwaukee Brewers are chasing the San Diego Padres in the NL, while the Baltimore Orioles are just 1.5 behind the Toronto Blue Jays for the final AL spot.


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