The baseball playoffs are about to start out. Time to be enthralled! Time to be entertained! Time to be … asking some affordable questions.
Yep, there are certain to be some fanatics — particularly those that don’t are living and die with their crew on a daily basis — who’ve some questions about sure sides of the postseason and may well be afraid to invite their buddies about it. After all, Major League Baseball’s postseason layout is other this 12 months than it used to be in 2021, which used to be other than in ’20, which used to be other than in ’19. Because of a virus after which a brand new Collective Bargaining Agreement between house owners and avid gamers, the configuration has had extra motion than a Clayton Kershaw curveball.
Before we get to all of your burning questions and the way the MLB Postseason works, here is a reminder of the Game 1 instances for the Wild Card Series, which will get underway on Friday.
And for your complete Postseason time table, seek advice from right here.
Rays @ Guardians, 12:07 p.m., ESPN
Phillies @ Cardinals, 2:07 p.m., ABC
Mariners @ Blue Jays, 4:07 p.m., ESPN
Padres @ Mets, 8:07 p.m., ESPN
1. OK, let’s get started there: How does the MLB postseason paintings?
Twelve of the 30 groups succeed in the postseason. That’s six from each and every league (American League and National League) — the 3 department winners in each and every league (East, Central and West) and 3 Wild Card groups from each and every league.
They play a bracket-style postseason to in the end resolve a World Series champion.
2. What does “Wild Card” imply?
It’s a taking part in card that may have any price, go well with or colour in a recreation, on the discretion of the participant retaining it. Oh, you imply in baseball?
A Wild Card is a crew that advances to the postseason with no need received its department. There may well be circumstances, regardless that, the place a Wild Card crew in reality has a greater document than a department winner from any other department. However, the department winners get priority with reference to seeding. This is the primary 12 months the place there might be 3 Wild Card groups according to league (six general), while there have been two according to league beneath the former CBA.
3. So how are the groups seeded?
In the AL, the No. 1 seed went to the Astros, adopted via the Yankees (2) and Guardians (3). And so as, via document, the 3 Wild Card Series groups are the Blue Jays, Mariners and Rays.
While within the NL, the Dodgers grabbed the No. 1 seed, adopted via the Braves (2), who received all of it closing 12 months, and the Cardinals (3). The 3 Wild Card Series groups are the Mets, Padres and Phillies.
4. Ah, so No. 1 performs No. 6 and so forth…
No, no, cling on a sec. You’re getting forward of your self.
The best two seeds in each and every league in reality have a bye within the first around. They advance without delay to the Division Series.
5. Got it. So how do the opposite groups attempt to advance?
They play the opening-round Wild Card Series. In each and every league, it contains the department winner with the worst document and the 3 Wild Card groups.
6. Isn’t there some type of single-elimination playoff recreation?
There was. When each and every league handiest had two Wild Card groups, the ones groups would face each and every different in one, winner-take-all matchup.
Now, with the postseason expanded to a few Wild Card groups according to league, the outlet around is a best-of-three collection. The No. 3 seed faces the No. 6 seed, whilst the Nos. 4 and 5 seeds face each and every different. The winners of each and every collection advance to stand the highest two seeds (the groups that have been idle) within the Division Series.
7. So it’s referred to as the “Wild Card Series” despite the fact that a few department winners are in it?
Yeah, smartly, “Wild Card and Worst Division Winner Series” didn’t have reasonably the similar ring to it.
8. Is it truthful to have a department winner play an additional around?
Life isn’t truthful. And anyway, the program supplies added incentive not to handiest win your department however to outpace the opposite department winners.
9. Fair sufficient. Are groups reseeded after the Wild Card Series?
Nope. The bracket is maintained all through the postseason.
In the best-of-five Division Series, the winner of three/6 faces the No. 2 seed and the winner of four/5 faces the No. 1 seed. The winners of the ones collection then transfer on to stand each and every different within the best-of-seven League Championship Series, and the 2 LCS winners face each and every different within the best-of-seven World Series.
10. How does home-field benefit paintings for the Wild Card Series?
That’s the attention-grabbing wrinkle: All 3 video games within the Wild Card Series are performed within the ballpark of the crew with the upper seed. That offers the No. 3 seed and the No. 4 seed home-field benefit for the whole lot of that around.
So that the highest two seeds can get leisure with out getting an excessive amount of leisure. This setup lets in all 3 video games to be performed in a three-day span (in reality, over a weekend) with none shuttle delays.
12. Is webhosting all 3 video games a large benefit?
We truly don’t know but. Historically, domestic groups have received 54.7% of all postseason video games. In the pandemic season in 2020, there used to be a best-of-three Wild Card Series (once more, with all 3 video games on the similar venue), and the proportion used to be upper, at 55.6%. But that used to be with out a fanatics within the stands.
Interestingly, regardless that, domestic groups handiest went 9-9 within the Wild Card around when it used to be a single-elimination match. We’ll see the way it is going this 12 months.
13. How does home-field benefit paintings within the different rounds?
For the Division Series, the Nos. 1 and a pair of seeds have home-field benefit. So they host Games 1 and a pair of and, if vital, Game 5.
For the League Championship Series, the remainder groups with the perfect seed get the home-field benefit and host Games 1, 2 and, if vital, 6 and seven.
For the World Series, home-field benefit (webhosting tasks in Games 1, 2 and, if vital, 6 and seven) is going to the league pennant winner that had the simpler steady season document.
14. Doesn’t World Series home-field benefit have one thing to do with the All-Star Game?
At one time, it went to the league that received the All-Star Game. But that has no longer been the case since 2016.
15. Do any postseason video games happen in a impartial website?
No. That did occur right through the pandemic-altered 2020 postseason, however that used to be it.
16. OK, so when does the Wild Card Series happen?
17. And then when does the Division Series happen?
All 4 Division Series (two within the AL and two within the NL) are scheduled to start out on Tuesday, Oct. 11. This leaves an afternoon in-between the Wild Card Series and Division Series for shuttle and doable make-up situations within the match of climate problems.
There is slightly of an oddity on this 12 months’s Division Series time table. In the ALDS, the groups can have the standard off-day after Game 2 (which is a shuttle day) but additionally a time off after Game 1. And in each leagues, the Division Series won’t have an off-day (for shuttle) between a possible Game 4 and Game 5.
18. What in regards to the LCS and World Series?
The LCS around starts Tuesday, Oct. 18, within the NL and Oct. 19 within the AL. It will apply the standard time table, with off-days for shuttle after Games 2 and 5.
The World Series starts Friday, Oct. 28, and also will apply the standard time table with off-days for shuttle after Games 2 and 5.
19. So the World Series may just lead to November this 12 months?
It will for sure lead to November this 12 months. The earliest it will finish is with Game 4 on Nov. 1. The newest is with Game 7 on Nov. 5.
Well, no longer if the Dodgers are webhosting. But anyway, do you know Game 7 of the 2016 World Series in Cleveland came about on Nov. 2 and had a 69-degree first pitch? In Cleveland!
21. Is the designated hitter utilized in all video games?
Yes. With the common DH completely installed position in 2022, all postseason video games will function the DH spot within the lineup.
22. So there might be much less bunting?
If you imply the baseball play, sure. If you imply the stadium ornament, no.
23. What about that ghost runner at 2d in additional innings?
It’s no longer a ghost runner. It’s a human being.
24. You know what I imply. The automated runner.
That is probably not used within the postseason. It is handiest used within the steady season. So within the postseason, additional innings will start with no one on base (and no ghost runners, both).
25. What about those new laws I heard about? Are they used within the postseason?
No. Three rule adjustments have been just lately licensed for 2023 — a pitch timer to quicken the tempo, larger bases to enhance participant protection and a prohibit on defensive moving within the infield to result in extra conventional results on balls in play. Those laws don’t pass into impact till subsequent season.
26. Can groups trade their rosters right through the postseason?
Yes. Teams put up a 26-man roster previous to each and every around. So they may be able to trade the roster from around to around. However, the roster can handiest come with postseason-eligible avid gamers (i.e., avid gamers who have been within the group previous to September).
Teams too can request permission from the Commissioner’s Office to interchange an injured participant right through the process a playoff collection. But that participant is then ineligible for the remainder of the around and for the following around (if the crew advances). A tumbler could also be changed handiest via a glass and a place participant via a place participant.
27. Can a playoff crew upload Shohei Ohtani?
28. Do any playoff stats rely towards regular-season totals?
No. So Albert Pujols, who hit 24 homers this season and 703 for his occupation, would no longer upload to that general if he hits a house run for the Cardinals within the postseason. (If postseason domestic runs counted, Pujols would have any other 19 added to his occupation general.)
Same, after all, is going for Aaron Judge and his single-season domestic run tally of 62. Whatever he finishes with at the closing day of the steady season is his general for the 12 months. So, right through the postseason, he received’t be vying for Barry Bonds’ document of 73.
29. Who will be the all-time domestic run chief if the postseason stats counted?
Still Barry Bonds (771), however handiest via 10 (Hank Aaron had 761).
30. How continuously does the finest crew win the World Series?
If we outline “best team” because the crew with the finest regular-season document, it’s in reality beautiful uncommon. Since 1969 (when the League Championship Series started), handiest 14 groups with MLB’s excellent document have long gone directly to win the World Series. It took place maximum just lately with the 2020 Dodgers, and the closing crew to do it in a complete season used to be the 2018 Red Sox. The Dodgers will attempt to do it once more this 12 months.
31. How continuously does the reigning World Series champion repeat?
In the Wild Card technology, that has develop into very uncommon, too. It hasn’t took place because the 1998-2000 Yankees. So the protecting champion Braves have their paintings reduce out for them.
32. Has a Wild Card crew ever received the World Series?
Yes, it’s in reality took place seven instances since MLB first used the Wild Card in 1995. The 1997 Marlins, 2002 Angels, ’03 Marlins, ’04 Red Sox, and ’11 Cardinals all received it when there used to be only one Wild Card according to league. The ’14 Giants and ’19 Nationals have been Wild Card groups who received all of it right through the two-Wild Card technology.
33. Will the brand new layout make it tougher for a Wild Card crew to win all of it?
It may just. In the former layout, Wild Card groups needed to burn their excellent to be had pitcher in one Wild Card Game, nevertheless it used to be just one recreation.
Now, the entire groups concerned within the Wild Card Series need to play as much as 3 video games ahead of going through a rested department winner. This may just enhance the chances of the crew with the finest document successful all of it. But handiest time will inform, because it has a tendency to do.
34. Who must I root for if my crew will get bounced?
If your favourite crew reaches the playoffs and will get knocked out, you’ll be able to’t pass mistaken rooting for the crew that knocked it out. That means, if mentioned crew is going directly to win all of it, you’re going to know that it took a championship-caliber ballclub to deliver you down.
35. Why do I am getting the sensation that received’t in reality make me really feel any higher?
Probably as it received’t.
36. So … every other tips?
Well, you should root for a Mariners crew that no longer handiest entered 2022 with the longest postseason drought in baseball (21 years) however is the one crew in MLB that hasn’t ever even been to the World Series.
37. Any different groups with lengthy droughts?
The Phillies nailed down a playoff spot for the primary time since 2011. That used to be the longest lively drought within the NL.
The Padres additionally claimed an NL Wild Card spot. Neither of the ones franchises has ever received the World Series. They have additionally by no means received the World Series of their lifestyles, relationship again to 1969.
38. What’s probably the most unexpected playoff crew?
It’s were given to be the Cleveland Guardians, who’re simply the 8th crew ever — and the primary because the 1986 Mets — to achieve the playoffs with the youngest roster in MLB.
39. Any veteran managers of notice?
Astros supervisor Dusty Baker has but any other likelihood to win all of it. He is the one skipper with no less than 2,000 occupation victories who has no longer guided a crew to a World Series crown. This is the twelfth crew he’s guided to October, and he’s received two pennants. But no longer the Fall Classic.
Then there’s Buck Showalter, who has greater than 1,600 wins with out successful a World Series. He may have received one within the Bronx if no longer for that cotton uniform fiasco documented on “Seinfeld,” however now he’s were given a reputable likelihood with a amusing Mets crew fronted via Cy Young Award winners Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom.
40. Old skippers are amusing. Any previous avid gamers seeking to win all of it?
Might we introduce you to the Cardinals? Pujols and catcher Yadi Molina are retiring after this season, and starter Adam Wainwright is 41. That trio used to be in combination for St. Louis’ 2006 championship crew (and would had been in combination in ’11, too, had Wainwright no longer been injured that 12 months) and is making an attempt to win in combination one closing time.
41. What are every other storylines?
The Braves are seeking to be the uncommon repeaters. They didn’t have celebrity outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. for his or her loopy run closing 12 months, however now he’s within the combine.
The Rays perennially compete with one of the crucial lowest payrolls in baseball. They’re again for extra.
The Blue Jays haven’t received all of it since 1993. They’ve were given a whole nation pulling for them. And regardless that Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero by no means received all of it, his son, Vlad Jr., has an opportunity.
If dynasties are your factor, the Dodgers are seeking to win their 2d World Series in 3 years, at the heels in their 9th department identify in 10 years.
And then there’s the Yankees. There used to be a time when it appeared they received the World Series yearly. But they haven’t even been to it since 2009.
42. Excellent. I believe extra ready for the playoffs now. Just one closing query: Which crew will win all of it?
The winner of the World Series. Duh.