MLB 2022 post-season: Everything you need to know about the new wild card round

One of the issues that separated Major League Baseball and the MLBPA during the offseason lockdown was how many postseason teams would advance.

The two teams eventually agreed on 12 teams, causing upheaval in the post-season bracket.

The “wildcard trick” was done in 2020 thanks to the season shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic and was seen as a temporary fix, but now it’s here to stay.

Here’s everything you need to know about the joker round which begins Friday afternoon…

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Overview of Busch Stadium during the St. Louis Cardinals game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Game 4. St. Louis October 7, 2014.
(David E. Klutho/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

HOW IT WORKS

Outside of the 2020 season, this is the third time the MLB playoffs have extended since the 1995 season. After three division winners and one wild card from 1995 to 2011, the 2012 season saw two teams from wild card, which gave birth to the Wild Card Game – a match, do or die, the winner faces the top seed in the Division Series, the loser goes home – until last season.

Starting this year, there are now three wildcards with the three division winners. However, much like the old NFL playoff format, the top two seeds receive a “bye” in the Division Series.

This weekend, the three seeds (the division winner with the worst record of the three) will host the six seeds in – like 2020 – a best-of-3 series where all matches will be played in consecutive days at the highest seed. . The four seeds accommodate the five.

WHO’S PLAYING

The third-seeded Cleveland Guardians, who won the AL Central, will host the Seattle Mariners. The fifth-seeded Tampa Bay Rays travel north to Toronto to take on division rival Blue Jays.

A general view of the 2020 Wild Card Series logo on the LED scoreboard during batting practice prior to Game 1 of the Wild Card Series between the New York Yankees and the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on Tuesday, September 29 2020 in Cleveland.

A general view of the 2020 Wild Card Series logo on the LED scoreboard during batting practice prior to Game 1 of the Wild Card Series between the New York Yankees and the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on Tuesday, September 29 2020 in Cleveland.
(Joe Sargent/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

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In the National League, the five-seeded San Diego Padres fly east to take on the fourth-seeded New York Mets. The St. Louis Cardinals, winners of NL Central, will host the Philadelphia Phillies.

AND AFTER

In order to ensure that the first seed in each league will not face a division winner in the division series, there will be no reseeding. The top-seeded Houston Astros will face the Rays-Blue Jays series winner in best-of-5 ALDS, while the New York Yankees will have home-court advantage against the Guardians or Mariners.

The NL’s sole-seeded Los Angeles Dodgers await the Mets or Padres in the next round, while defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves will face the Cardinals or Phillies.

A general view during pregame ceremonies for the National League Wild Card game between the New York Mets and the San Francisco Giants at Citi Field on October 5, 2016 in New York City.

A general view during pregame ceremonies for the National League Wild Card game between the New York Mets and the San Francisco Giants at Citi Field on October 5, 2016 in New York City.
(Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

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The Division Series remains best-of-five, while the Championship Series and World Series are still best-of-seven.

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