When are playoffs for baseball ? Who made the MLB playoffs this year? We’re tracking the postseason with regular updates for the MLB postseason brackets and the playoff seeding outlook for the American League and National League in 2023.
As we do every season, Sportsnaut’s MLB playoffs picture will take a look at where things stand across the league. You can find our MLB postseason predictions from spring training further below, with the latest playoff outlook atop the page.
Bookmark this page for updates throughout the season, including detailed predictions, MLB postseason schedule updates and more. For now, here is everything you need to know about the MLB playoffs this year.
When do the MLB playoffs start in 2023? Date, TV schedule & updated AL, NL brackets for postseason
While some races have been decided for a while — the Braves and Dodgers have been clear division winners for some time — others, like the race for the AL West and the final NL wild card spots, went into the final week of MLB action to be decided, before the Astros won the division and the Marlins and Diamondbacks earned the final two NL wild cards.
Now, the season-long chase has reached its destination: the MLB postseason. In total, there are 12 teams competing in the playoffs, six in each league, with three wild cards joining the three division winners in the field.
2023 MLB playoffs schedule: Recap of the World Series
They won their first World Series championship in franchise history, dispatching the Arizona Diamondbacks in five games.
It was 13 years ago to the night that San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy knocked off the Rangers to win the World Series title.
Now, he returned the favor for the Rangers, winning his fourth World Series ring, and becoming only the third manager in history to win World Series titles in each league.
What about the rest of the format?
Nothing new to report. The League Championship Series and World Series are still best-of-seven in a 2-3-2 format. Home-field advantage in the World Series goes to the team with the better regular-season record (regardless of their playoff seeding) — the aforementioned tiebreaker rules apply if the teams happen to have the same regular-season records.
Do they use the pitch clock and ‘ghost runner’ in the playoffs?
The use of MLB’s new pitch clock in the postseason has been the subject of much debate. As of now, the timer will be in use during the playoffs.
Commissioner Rob Manfred said in July he was continuing to talk with players about their concerns, however.
Manfred said he understands “it’s a possibility” the clock negatively impacts a postseason game, but added that “in general (he thinks) you ought to play the postseason the way you play the regular season.”
MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark said at the time that players want pitch-clock adjustments in the postseason “that will afford them and those watching a chance to take a few extra seconds here and there and a deep breath.”
Earlier this summer, The Athletic polled more than 100 MLB players to get their opinion of the game’s new rules (banning the shift, bigger bases and the pitch clock). Overall, they thought the changes were good for the game. On a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 is the best, all three rules scored around a 4. But despite the positive reviews, 60.7 percent of players thought the pitch-clock rule should be different for the postseason.
Suggestions included adding five seconds, not enforcing it after the seventh inning and completely getting rid of it.
Although MLB’s Joint Competition Committee voted to make the rule automatically placing a runner at second base at the start of every extra inning in regular-season games — otherwise known as the “ghost runner” — permanent before this season, the rule does not apply in the playoffs.
What is the format for the MLB Wild Card Series?
The teams with the higher seeding (Nos. 3 and 4 seeds) will get to host the games.
The games will take place in a three-day period.
Each league’s No. 1 seed will face the winner of the Wild Card Series between the Nos. 4/5 seeds in their respective league, while the No. 2 seed will take on the winner of the Nos. 3/6 series.
Best TV plans for watching the MLB Playoffs
Now that you know the channels you’ll need for watching this year’s playoffs, you have a better idea of what to look for when choosing a TV plan. But we’ll make it a step easier. Our table below lists the most popular TV providers and whether they carry important playoff channels.
Sling TV is our favorite provider for watching the MLB postseason because it’s inexpensive and carries every playoff channel. You’ll need its Sling Orange plan ($40 a month) and the Sports Extra add-on ($11 a month), but it’s still over $10 cheaper monthly than other live TV streaming services. The only downside is that Sling TV doesn’t offer FOX in every region, so you may need an antenna to pick up the channel
Ready to dive into the MLB Playoffs?
ABC, FOX, FS1, TBS, ESPN, ESPN2, and MLB Network are the seven channels that give you access to every game of the 2023 MLB Playoffs. While you can catch ABC and FOX over the air with a simple digital antenna, you’ll need a more comprehensive TV plan to get the other channels.
We recommend Sling TV because it carries every playoff channel in its Sling Orange plan with the Sports Extra add-on. The live TV streaming service is also a great way to watch NBA games, which return to the court in mid-October.
How to watch the MLB Playoffs for free
Because the MLB Playoffs air across several basic cable networks, you’ll need a TV subscription to access the entire slate of playoff games. Some live TV streaming services offer free trials, but most don’t last longer than seven days.
You can watch a slice of playoff action without subscribing to a TV plan using a digital antenna on your smart TV. Since ABC and FOX air various playoff games, you can tune in for free through your local network affiliates. That’s especially important since FOX will show the complete World Series.
If you need a high-quality antenna, we suggest checking out the Mohu Leaf 50. It’s one of our favorite antennas because of its 60-mile range and 4K capabilities. Though, you’ll want to enter your zip code on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Reception Map Tool before committing to an antenna. That way, you can ensure ABC and FOX affiliate stations are within range of your home.
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