How many wild card teams in mlb? The 2023 Major League Baseball regular season is scheduled to end on Sunday, Oct. 1 and the 2023 MLB Playoffs are scheduled to begin on Tuesday, Oct. 3.
How many teams will make the postseason? How are they seeded? How many games are in a series?
Here’s what to know about the 2023 MLB postseason format and schedule, which will be here before we know it.
As for who will play in the MLB Playoffs, that is an entirely different story. You can see the MLB postseason standings in our MLB playoff picture story here.
2023 MLB Playoffs format
The National League and American League each send six teams to the postseason, three division winners from each league and three Wild Card teams, the non-division winners with the best records.
The No. 1 seed in each league goes to the team with the best overall record in that league.
The No. 2 seed goes to the division winner with the next best record, while the No. 3 seed goes to the remaining division winner.
The team with the best record that did not win its division gets the No. 4 seed, with the Wild Card team with the second-best record getting the No. 5 seed and the team with the third getting the No. 6 seed.
It pays to be the top two seeds. Those teams get byes straight into the Division Series, while the No. 3 seed takes on the No. 6 seed and the No. 4 seed takes on the No. 5 seed in the first round of the postseason, the Wild Card round.
The Wild Card round is played at the higher seed over three days, with whoever winning the best-of-3 series advancing to the Divisional Round.
The winner of the series between the No. 4 and No. 5 seed will face the No. 1 seed in the Divisional Round and the other series will be the No. 2 seed against the No. 3 or No. 6 seed series winner.
The Divisional Round is a best-of-5 five games, with the first two at the higher seed, Games 3 and 4 at the lower seed and the deciding fifth game, if necessary, at the higher seed.
The winners of the Divisional Round advance to play in the League Championship Series and the World Series, which are best-of-7. The higher seeds get to host the first two games and the last two games of the series, with the lower seed getting the middle three games.
Home-field advantage in the World Series goes to the team with the best record in the regular season, not to the league that won the All-Star Game.
2023 MLB end of season tiebreakers
MLB teams used to play a tiebreaker game at the end of the season if they were tied, but that is no longer the case.
MLB adapted a tiebreaker system to resolve ties and eliminate tie-breaker games at the conclusion of the regular season.
Tiebreakers are first broken by head-to-head records, then it goes to records in your own division, if needed.
A third tiebreaker, if needed is which team has a better record in league games that were not in your division.
In the unlikely event of another tie, the fourth tiebreaker is a team’s record in their league over the second half of the season.
2023 MLB postseason TV information
MLB Wild Card Series games will air on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.
Divisional Round games will be shown on FOX or FS1 for the American League and TBS for the National League.
FOX or FS1 will also air the ALCS. TBS will air the NLCS.
The World Series is scheduled to air on FOX.
How many teams reach the postseason, and how?
As mentioned, the playoffs now include six teams from each league, up from the previous five. The three division winners still advance, with the change being that three wild-card teams per league now qualify for the postseason.
How many teams make the playoffs in MLB Wild Card standings?
Three. In total, 12 MLB teams make the postseason, six from the American League and six from the National League.
Three of each of those buckets make the playoffs via a wild card spot after three division winners from each of the AL and NL earn an automatic berth.
This is a recent change, as the postseason field expanded in 2022 from five teams to six teams in each league, eliminating the single wild card game.
How is all that seeded?
Seeding for the six teams gives preference to the division winners over team record. The division winners earn the first three seeds, in order of record. The three wild card teams are then seeded 4-6 in order of best record.
The top two seeds receive byes and don’t play in the wild card round, but the third division winner must play the third wild card team in the wild card round, which is a three-game series.
What happens if you’re a wild card team?
Diamondbacks fans most recently experienced the single-game wild card format that is now gone. In 2017, D-backs reliever Archie Bradley hit a triple to highlight a win against the Colorado Rockies that put Arizona in the divisional series where they lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
No more is that single-elimination wild card game used from 2012-19 and again in 2021. Now, wild card teams get a best-of-three series.
When and where are wild card series played?
The higher seed of the wild card series matchups will host all three (if necessary) games.
In 2023, every wild card series will take place from Oct. 3-4 and then Oct. 5 if a third game is needed.
How long are the following series?
The divisional series will be a best-of-five series, while the league championships and World Series rounds are best-of-seven.
Reseeding will not happen after the wild card round.
What are the tiebreakers?
If two teams finish tied, their head-to-head record will determine the higher seed. The D-backs own the tiebreaker over the Cubs but not the Marlins or Reds.
The Marlins and Reds are 3-3 against each other, though. The next tie-breaker is divisional record, regardless if the two clubs play in the same division or not.
If three clubs tie for one spot, the team with the better record against the other two clinches the spot. For example, if the D-backs, Cubs and Reds all finish with the same record, the Reds would benefit since they own the season series against both opponents.
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