MLB playoffs

Last Modified Feb 28, 2024 13:27 GMT


MLB Playoffs
MLB Playoffs


The MLB Playoffs or what it is most commonly known by is Major League Baseball Postseason. It is an annual competition that is held after the end of the regular season. The goal of this competition is to decide the World Series champion among the Major League teams from each league i.e. the American League and the National League. The top teams from the regular season qualify for the playoffs.


The postseason usually involves several rounds of series, including the Wild Card series, Division Series, League Championship Series (LCS), and then the World Series. Teams compete in a series of best-of-five or best-of-seven games, with the winners advancing to the next round until two teams face off in the World Series to compete for the championship title.



Major League Baseball- Playoffs History

Major League Baseball is the oldest professional sports organization in North America dating back to the 1870s. The sport only had a championship series, known as the "World Series" since the 1880s. This began in 1903 with a best-of-seven format between the American League and National League champions. This single-tiered system determined the league champion based on the best regular-season record which continued until 1968, even after the leagues expanded in 1961 and 1962.

Both the baseball leagues expanded to twelve teams in 1969. This prompted a divisional split into East and West. It ended up leading to the creation of the League Championship Series, a best-of-five postseason round determining the league champion. The LCS format expanded to best-of-seven in 1985. The divisional structure sometimes excluded top-performing teams from the postseason, as seen in the 1993 case of the Atlanta Braves and San Francisco Giants, both with over 100 wins but playing in the same division. The 1981 players' strike introduced an additional postseason round, featuring division winners from each half of the split season.


In 1994, MLB underwent some major realignments. There was an addition of a Central division to both leagues. A wild card spot was introduced in each league to make an even playoff structure. The spot given to the team with the best record among the division runners-up. This increased postseason participants in each league from two to four. The new arrangement included the best-of-five Division Series, making the term permanent. The 1994 season's players' strike canceled the postseason, however, the format was implemented in 1995. The wild card team faced the divisional champion with the better record, and the winners advanced to the League Championship Series, followed by the World Series between the champions of each League Championship Series.


Baseball commissioner Bud Selig announced a new playoff system in 2011. It ended up taking effect in 2012. The system introduced a one-game wild-card playoff, including a second wild-card team in each league, determined by the second-highest win total among non-division winners. The two wild-card teams competed in a one-game playoff, and the winner moved on to the best-of-five Division Series. Division champions still qualified for the Division Series, but the wild-card winner played the division champion with the best record, irrespective of whether they were in the same division. The other two division winners faced each other in the other Division Series, with the second-best division winner enjoying home-field advantage. The format for the League Championship Series and World Series remained unchanged. This setup allowed the possibility of two teams from the same division facing each other before the League Championship Series, provided one team had the best record in its league.


Amid the 2020 MLB season suspension due to COVID-19, negotiations between MLB and the Players Association explored expanded postseason proposals. Ultimately, a 16-team format was agreed upon for the 2020 season, featuring the new Wild Card Series. The format included eight teams from each league and was specific to that season, as MLB returned to the previous 10-team setup for the 2021 postseason. In the 2022 collective bargaining negotiations, owners and players agreed on a 12-team postseason format, featuring three division winners and three wild card teams in each league. Starting from the 2022 season, the two division winners with the best record in each league receive byes to the Division Series. The remaining teams, including the third-place division winner and three wild card teams, are seeded from three to six based on their regular season records. These teams participate in the Wild Card Round, a best-of-three-game series. Tie-breaker games ("Game 163") were eliminated, and tiebreakers for seeding and playoff qualification involve head-to-head records, intra-division records, inter-division records, and records in the last half of intra-league games. If ties persist, the tiebreaker extends to games before the last half of intra-league games. The brackets remain fixed, with no re-seeding, and in the Division Series, the 1 seed faces the 4/5 winner, while the 2 seed plays the 3/6 winner.



Major League Baseball Playoffs Format

The postseason competition has six teams taking part from each league in it which makes a total of twelve teams in the tournament. This includes three division winners and three wild card teams of each league. The postseason kicks off with the Wild Card Games, where the three wild card teams are chosen. Wild Card Series games are played in the higher-seeded team's home park within a three-day window. Following this, the Division Series unfolds as a best-of-five series that features the winners of the Wild Card Games and the three division champions. The format for this is 2-2-1. The winners then progress to the League Championship Series, a best-of-seven matchup. Finally, the champions of the American League and National League face each other in the World Series, which also adopts a best-of-seven format.


Major League Baseball - Playoffs 2023 Results

Here’s a table of the 2023 World Series Results:



WORLD SERIES
Friday: October 27, 2023Game 1: Texas Rangers 6, Arizona Diamondbacks 5 (11) (Texas led, 1-0)
Saturday: October 28, 2023Game 2: Arizona Diamondbacks 9, Texas Rangers 1 (Series tied, 1-1)
Monday: October 30, 2023Game 3: Texas Rangers 3, Arizona Diamondbacks 1 (Texas led, 2-1)
Tuesday: October 31, 2023Game 4: Texas Rangers 11, Arizona Diamondbacks 7 (Texas led, 3-1)
Wednesday: November 1, 2023Game 5: Texas Rangers 5, Arizona Diamondbacks 0 (Texas won, 4-1)



Here’s a table of the 2023 Wild Card Series Results:



WILD CARD SERIES
Tuesday: October 3, 2023Game 1: Texas Rangers 4, Tampa Bay Rays 0 (Texas led, 1-0)Game 1: Minnesota Twins 3, Toronto Blue Jays 1 (Minnesota led, 1-0)Game 1: Philadelphia Phillies 4, Miami Marlins 1 ( Philadelphia led, 1-0)Game 1: Milwaukee Brewers 3, Arizona Diamondbacks 6 (Arizona led, 1-0)
Wednesday: October 4, 2023Game 2: Texas Rangers 7, Tampa Bay Rays 1 (Texas won, 2-0)Game 2: Minnesota Twins 2, Toronto Blue Jays 0 (Minnesota won, 2-0)Game 2: Philadelphia Phillies 7, Miami Marlins 1, ( Philadelphia won, 2-0)Game 2: Milwaukee Brewers 2, Arizona Diamondbacks 5 (Arizona won, 2-0)


Here’s a table of 2023 League Championship Series Results:



DIVISION SERIES
Saturday: October 7, 2023Game 1: Texas Rangers 3, Baltimore Orioles 2 (Texas led, 1-0)Game 1: Houston Astros 6, Minnesota Twins 4 (Houston led, 1-0)Game 1: Philadelphia Phillies 3, Atlanta Braves 0 (Philadelphia led, 1-0)Game 1: Arizona Diamondbacks 11, Los Angeles Dodgers 2 (Arizona led, 1-0)
Sunday: October 8, 2023Game 2: Texas Rangers 11, Baltimore Orioles 8 (Texas led 2-0)Game 2: Minnesota Twins 6, Houston Astros 2 (Series tied 1-1)
Monday: October 9, 2023Game 2: Atlanta Braves 5, Philadelphia Phillies 4 (Series tied 1-1)Game 2: Arizona Diamondbacks 4, Los Angeles Dodgers 2 (Arizona led, 2-0)
Tuesday: October 10, 2023Game 3: Houston Astros 9, Minnesota Twins 1 (Houston led, 2-1)Game 3: Texas Rangers 7, Baltimore Orioles 1 (Texas won, 3-0)
Wednesday: October 11, 2023Game 3: Philadelphia Phillies 10, Atlanta Braves 2 (Philadelphia led, 2-1)Game 4: Houston Astros 3, Minnesota Twins 2 (Houston won, 3-1)Game 3: Arizona Diamondbacks 4, Los Angeles Dodgers 2 (Arizona won, 3-0)
Thursday: October 12, 2023Game 4: Philadelphia Phillies 3, Atlanta Braves 1 (Philadelphia won, 3-1)



Here’s a table of League Championship Series Results:


LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
Sunday: October 15, 2023Game 1: Texas Rangers 2, Houston Astros 0 (Texas led, 1-0)
Monday: October 16, 2023Game 2: Texas Rangers 5, Houston Astros 4 (Texas led, 2-0)Game 1: Philadelphia Phillies 5, Arizona Diamondbacks 3 (Philadelphia led, 1-0)
Tuesday: October 17, 2023Game 2: Philadelphia Phillies 10, Arizona Diamondbacks 0 (Philadelphia led, 2-0)
Wednesday: October 18, 2023Game 3: Houston Astros 8, Texas Rangers 5 (Texas led, 2-1)
Thursday: October 19, 2023Game 3: Arizona Diamondbacks 2, Philadelphia Phillies 1 (Philadelphia led, 2-1)Game 4: Houston Astros 10, Texas Rangers 3 (Series tied, 2-2)
Friday: October 20, 2023Game 5: Houston Astros 5, Texas Rangers 4 (Houston led, 3-2)Game 4: Arizona Diamondbacks 6, Philadelphia Phillies 5 (Series tied, 2-2)
Saturday: October 21, 2023Game 5: Philadelphia Phillies 6, Arizona Diamondbacks 1 (Philadelphia led, 3-2)
Sunday: October 22, 2023Game 6: Texas Rangers 9, Houston Astros 2 (Series tied, 3-3)
Monday: October 23, 2023Game 6: Arizona Diamondbacks 5, Philadelphia Phillies 1 (Series tied, 3-3)Game 7: Texas Rangers 11, Houston Astros 4 (Texas won, 4-3)
Tuesday: October 24, 2023Game 7: Arizona Diamondbacks 4, Philadelphia Phillies 2 (Arizona won, 4-3)




WILD CARD SERIES

The current Wild Series format was established in 2022. It involves twelve postseason teams chosen from the American and National Leagues, each with three divisions (West, East, and Central). Teams qualify as division champions, with three from each league making a total of nine chosen teams. Division winners are seeded from #1 to #3 based on their winning percentages. The top two winners in each league's division receive first-round byes. Wild Card teams that are not division winners but that have the best winning percentage are seeded at #4 to #6. The three Wild Card teams face off in a best-of-three playoffs called the Wild Card series, to determine who progresses to the Division Series.


DIVISION SERIES

The Division Series had a rotating home-field advantage, with one of the three division-winning teams not having it. The wild card team never had the advantage. This format was implied until 1997. From 1998 to 2021, the top two division winners in each league had home-field advantage, while the worst-ranked division winner and the wild-card team did not. Since 2022, the two division winners with the best records have a home-field advantage over the two wild card series winners. The Division Series format changed from 2–3 to 2–2–1 in 1998, considered fairer as both teams now enjoy home-field advantage in some capacity. In 2012, due to the expanded playoff format, the Division Series briefly adopted a 2–3 format for one year before returning to the 2–2–1 format in 2013.


LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

The League Championship Series is an important stage of Major League Baseball's postseason. The Series had its beginning in 1969. The initiation of the Series could be attributed to the expansion of both the Leagues (the National and the American League). The leagues had formed Eastern and Western divisions. The teams that managed to get first place in the division proceeded to face off in the League Championship. In the beginning, it was a best-of-five with a 2-3 format. However, this changed in 1985 and it became a best-of-seven with a 2-3-2 format. Since 1995, the League Championship Series has featured Division Series winners, added during the realignment of MLB leagues in 1994. As of 2023, all thirty MLB teams have reached the LCS. The four teams; the Rockies, Marlins, Rays, and Rangers have never lost in it.


WORLD SERIES

The World Series is the championship series of Major League Baseball in North America. It serves as the culmination of the MLB postseason, featuring the champions of the American League and the National League facing off in a best-of-seven series. The team that wins four out of the seven games is crowned the World Series champion. The World Series has a rich history dating back to 1903. The World Series has been played in a 2-3-2 format since 1924. This was presumably to help with the travel cost. During the World War II years and its effect on the world, the format was cut to 3-4 to save even more travel costs. This format was used in 1943 and 1945. Until 2002, the home field advantage in the World Series was given to the leagues in tandem. Since 2017, the home field advantage has been awarded to the league champion team with better regular season Win-Loss record, regardless of the teams' seeding in earlier playoff rounds. The New York Yankees are the most successful team in the competition’s history with 27 titles. The recent champions were the Texas Rangers who won their first championship after defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks in 4 games.


The world series has been contested 119 times (as of 2023), with the AL teams winning 68 times and the NL teams winning 51 times.


FAQ's on MLB Playoffs

A. The MLB Playoffs are about 32 to 53 games long.

A. Six teams from each of the two leagues comprising the MLB, namely the American League and the National League, qualify for the playoffs.

A. Yes, the MLB players are paid for playoffs. They are given playoff bonuses by the leagues based on their percentage of revenue generated during the playoffs.

A. The MLB playoffs typically consist of series played in a best-of-five or best-of-seven format, depending on the round.

A. Yes, MLB teams do make monetary returns from playoffs

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