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MLB Playoff Picture 2022: Updated Standings, Wild Card Seedings and Bracket Outlook

Doric SamSeptember 18, 2022

Michael Urakami/Getty Images

The race for the 2022 MLB playoffs is winding down, with just over two weeks remaining in the regular season.

This weekend's slate of games provided a bit more clarity, with some teams earning much-needed breathing room from the squads nipping at their heels.

Here's a look at the postseason picture as of Sept. 18, along with the latest standings and races worth watching.

Current Playoff Picture

American League

No. 1 seed: Houston Astros (96-51), first-round bye

No. 2 seed: New York Yankees (88-58), first-round bye

No. 3 seed: Cleveland Guardians (79-67) vs. No. 6 seed: Seattle Mariners (80-65)

No. 4 seed: Toronto Blue Jays (83-64) vs. No. 5 seed: Tampa Bay Rays (82-64)

National League

No. 1 seed: Los Angeles Dodgers (101-44), first-round bye

No. 2 seed: New York Mets (93-55), first-round bye

No. 3 seed: St. Louis Cardinals (87-61) vs. No. 6 seed: Philadelphia Phillies (80-66)

No. 4 seed: Atlanta Braves (91-55) vs. No. 5 seed: San Diego Padres (81-66)

Full Standings

AL East

  1. New York Yankees: 88-58
  2. Toronto Blue Jays: 83-64, 5.5 GB
  3. Tampa Bay Rays: 82-64, 6.0 GB
  4. Baltimore Orioles: 76-69, 11.5 GB
  5. Boston Red Sox: 71-75, 17.0 GB

AL Central

  1. Cleveland Guardians: 79-67
  2. Chicago White Sox: 76-71, 3.5 GB
  3. Minnesota Twins: 73-73, 6.0 GB
  4. Kansas City Royals: 58-89, 21.5 GB - eliminated
  5. Detroit Tigers: 55-91, 24.0 GB - eliminated

AL West

  1. Houston Astros: 96-51 - clinched AL West
  2. Seattle Mariners: 80-65, 15.0 GB
  3. Los Angeles Angels: 64-82, 31.5 GB
  4. Texas Rangers: 63-83, 32.5 GB - eliminated
  5. Oakland Athletics: 53-93, 42.0 GB - eliminated

AL Wild Card

  1. Toronto Blue Jays: 83-64
  2. Tampa Bay Rays: 82-64
  3. Seattle Mariners: 80-65
  4. Baltimore Orioles: 76-69, 4.0 GB
  5. Chicago White Sox: 76-71, 5.5 GB

NL East

  1. New York Mets: 93-55
  2. Atlanta Braves: 91-55, 1.0 GB
  3. Philadelphia Phillies: 80-66, 12.0 GB
  4. Miami Marlins: 60-87, 32.5 GB - eliminated
  5. Washington Nationals: 51-95, 41.0 GB - eliminated

NL Central

  1. St. Louis Cardinals: 87-61
  2. Milwaukee Brewers: 78-68, 8.0 GB
  3. Chicago Cubs: 62-84, 24.0 GB - eliminated
  4. Cincinnati Reds: 58-89, 28.5 GB - eliminated
  5. Pittsburgh Pirates: 55-92, 31.5 GB - eliminated

NL West

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers: 101-44 - clinched NL West
  2. San Diego Padres: 81-66, 21.0 GB
  3. San Francisco Giants: 69-77, 32.5 GB
  4. Arizona Diamondbacks: 68-78, 33.5 GB
  5. Colorado Rockies: 64-82, 37.5 GB

NL Wild Card

  1. Atlanta Braves: 91-55
  2. San Diego Padres: 81-66
  3. Philadelphia Phillies: 80-66
  4. Milwaukee Brewers: 78-68, 2.0 GB
  5. San Francisco Giants: 69-77, 11.0 GB

Most of the division races are pretty much wrapped up, but the chase for the National League East crown is coming down to the wire, as the New York Mets try to hold off the Atlanta Braves.

New York is clinging to a one-game lead after winning four straight against the Pittsburgh Pirates this weekend. Both teams have plenty of winnable matchups over the next 10 days: the Braves will face the last-place Washington Nationals in two three-game series, while the Mets have three games against the Oakland Athletics and two against the Miami Marlins.

All of that will culminate with New York and Atlanta meeting for a three-game set during the final weekend of the regular season from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. It can be expected that the division winner will be determined by that series, while the team that finishes in second place will settle for the top NL wild-card spot.

Looking ahead to the playoff bracket, the team that falls into the first wild-card spot will have a daunting road in the postseason. The Mets or Braves could face the fifth-seeded Phillies or Padres. The winner of that wild-card series would be rewarded with an NLDS matchup against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who reached 100 wins faster than any other MLB team this season.

Over in the American League, there's still some shuffling happening among the wild-card teams. The Toronto Blue Jays overtook the Tampa Bay Rays for the top spot after winning three out of five games between the two squads last week. The Seattle Mariners are hoping to improve their position as well, and they have a great opportunity to do so with no winning teams remaining on the schedule.

After Monday's series finale against the Los Angeles Angels, the Mariners will have matchups against the A's, Kansas City Royals, Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers. Seattle can jump Toronto or Tampa Bayโ€”or bothโ€”with a strong finish.

It all makes for an exciting end to the regular season, as baseball fans will be watching closely hoping their teams get in when it's all said and done.

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