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MLB Playoff Picture and Bracket

Facing the Giants in a doubleheader, the Brewers took care of business to keep themselves in the NL Wild Card race by taking both from San Francisco. The Brewers took the first game 2-1 behind a dominant Corbin Burnes performance. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner went eight innings, striking out 14 while walking none. After losing starter Freddy Peralta to injury with nobody out in the third inning of the second game, the Brewers’ bullpen held the Giants to just two runs. An untimely error from Evan Longoria led to three first-inning runs, which was all the Brewers needed.

The doubleheader sweep brought the Brewers within 2 1/2 games of the Phillies, who lost to the Marlins on Thursday, for the third and final NL Wild Card spot. The Padres sit just a half-game ahead of Philadelphia, in what suddenly looks like a wide open race.

While a lot can happen in the standings between now and when the postseason starts on Oct. 7, here is what the playoff picture looks like heading into Friday.

Reminder: As part of the new collective bargaining agreement with the Players Association, Major League Baseball expanded the postseason field from 10 to 12 teams ahead of the 2022 season. Both the AL and NL now have three Wild Card berths (up from two), with the top two seeds in each league receiving first-round byes. The other teams will pair up for the best-of-three Wild Card Series, in which all three games will be played at the home of the higher seed, with winners advancing to the Division Series.

IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY:
AL Wild Card Series (starts Oct. 7)
Best-of-three format (all games at higher seed)
Blue Jays (6) at Guardians (3)
Mariners (5) at Rays (4)

Astros (1) and Yankees (2) have byes

NL Wild Card Series (Oct. 7)
Best-of-three format (all games at higher seed)
Phillies (6) at Cardinals (3)
Padres (5) at Braves (4)

Dodgers (1) and Mets (2) have byes

AL Division Series (starts Oct. 11)
Best-of-five format
Mariners/Rays at Astros
Blue Jays/Guardians at Yankees

NL Division Series (starts Oct. 11)
Best-of-five format
Padres/Braves at Dodgers
Phillies/Cardinals at Mets

Who is next: The Dodgers (94-42) have a magic number of 4 to clinch a postseason berth

Tight races to watch
AL Central: Guardians lead Twins, White Sox by 1.5 games
NL East: Mets lead Braves by 0.5 games
AL Wild Card: Blue Jays lead Orioles by 4.5 games for 3rd berth
NL Wild Card: Padres lead Phillies by 0.5 games for 2nd berth, Phillies lead Brewers by 2.5 games for 3rd berth

Trending up: The Braves have won seven straight, trailing the Mets by 0.5 games for first in the NL East.

Trending down: The Guardians have lost seven of their last 10, shrinking their lead in the AL Central to 1.5 games

Clinched postseason berth: None
Almost there (90% postseason odds or better): Dodgers, Mets, Astros, Braves, Yankees, Cardinals, Mariners, Rays, Blue Jays
In good shape (50-89% postseason odds): Padres, Phillies
In the mix (10-49% postseason odds): Guardians, Brewers, White Sox, Twins
Still alive (Postseason odds above 0%): Red Sox, Orioles, Giants

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