Skip to main content

MLB playoffs 2023: MLB postseason predictions, World Series and playoffs info

The 2023 Major League Baseball season is right around the corner and that means the race to the MLB playoffs is underway. It’s a battle that begins with spring training in February and rolls into October, with clubs battling for the World Series.

Who will make the MLB playoffs this year? There is a lot of baseball ahead, but teams like the Houston Astros, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets and Atlanta Braves all seem like locks for the MLB postseason. Of course, there are surprises every year.

As we do every season, Sportsnaut’s MLB playoffs picture will take a look at where things stand across the league. It begins on Opening Day with our postseason predictions, based on rosters and the MLB standings from last year.

Related: Highest-paid MLB players

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 playoff this year.

MLB playoffs predictions – Who will make the MLB playoffs in 2023?

Sportsnaut’s 2023 MLB postseason predictions are created before Opening Day and will be updated right before the start of the regular season. After that, updates throughout the regular season will focus on the latest MLB postseason race.

Related: World Series odds 2023

  • National League playoffs
    • NL Wild Card: San Diego Padres over Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets over St. Louis Cardinals
    • NLDS: San Diego Padres over Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers over New York Mets
    • NLCS: San Diego Padres over Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games
    • NL winner: San Diego Padres
  • American League playoffs:
    • AL Wild Card: New York Yankees over Cleveland Guardians, Seattle Mariners over Minnesota Twins
    • ALDS: Toronto Blue Jays over New York Yankees, Houston Astros over Seattle Mariners
    • ALCS: Toronto Blue Jays over Houston Astros in six games
    • AL winner: Toronto Blue Jays
  • 2023 World Series prediction:
    • Padres over Blue Jays in six games
    • World Series MVP: Manny Machado

When do the MLB playoffs start?

MLB: NLDS-Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 MLB playoffs begin on Tuesday, October 2 with the Wild Card schedule. Similar to the MLB schedule in 2022 when the regular season ended on Wednesday, Oct. 5 and the postseason began two days later. Following the same precedent, the MLB playoffs schedule starts two days after the final day of the regular season (Sunday, October 1).

Related: MLB games today

How many teams make the MLB playoffs?

MLB: ALDS-Rays Workouts
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Twelve teams make the MLB playoffs, with six each from the National League and American League. The top two division winners with the best record in the AL and NL each receive a first-round bye, while the No. 3 division winner and the three Wild Card teams play in the Wild Card round of the MLB playoffs bracket.

Major League Baseball expanded its playoff field in the COVID shortened 2020 season but the playoffs returned to the standard 10-team format in 2021. While league officials pushed for a 14-team MLB postseason format in 2022, players wouldn’t go for it. and settled on a 12-team playoff.

2023 MLB playoffs format – What is the MLB playoff format?

Here is the MLB postseason format, with the new bracket going into effect beginning in 2022.

  • No. 1 seed – Best record in National League/American League, gets first-round bye
  • No. 2 seed – Second-best record by division winner, receives first-round bye
  • No. 3 seed – Division winner with third-best record, faces No. 6 seed
  • No. 4 seed – Wild Card team with best record, hosts No. 5 seed
  • No. 5 seed – Wild Card team with second-best record, faces No. 4 seed
  • No. 6 seed – Third Wild Card team, faces No. 3 seed

The Wild Card round matchups between the No. 3 vs No. 6 and No. 4 vs No. 5 seeds are a best-of-three series. The winner of 3 vs 6 plays the No. 2 seed and 4 vs 5 faces the No. 1 seed.

Related: MLB awards predictions

When is the World Series 2023?

MLB: Houston Astros-Championship Parade
Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

The date for the 2023 World Series is undetermined. However, the MLB regular season ends on Sunday, Oct. 1 and the MLB playoffs are expected to begin on Tuesday, Oct. 3. Stay tuned for updates on the MLB postseason schedule.

Related: MLB stadium rankings

How many wild card teams are there in MLB?

There are six wild card teams in the MLB playoffs. Under the new MLB collective-bargaining agreement, the postseason was expanded starting in 2022. There are three wild card teams in the NL and the teams in the AL. Each wild card team with the lowest seed faces the division winner with the lowest record. The format looks like this, with playoff positioning determined by the latest MLB standings.

  • No. 6 wild card team vs No. 3 division winner
  • No. 5 wild card team vs No. 4 wild card team

Each AL and NL Wild Card series is a best-of-three set. The No. 1 seed, the team with the best record in each league, hosts the winner of the 4 vs. 5 matchup. Meanwhile, the No. 2 seed faces the winner of the No. 3 vs No. 6 in the Divisional Round.

How many games in MLB playoffs?

MLB: ALDS-Rays Workouts
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The number of games in the MLB postseason depends on how long it takes teams to win each series, ultimately advancing and being crowned World Series champion. Here is a breakdown of the length of each playoff series.

  • MLB Wild Card round: Best of 3
  • MLB Division Series: Best of 5
  • NLCS and ALCS: Best of 7
  • World Series: Best of 7

Who made the 2022 MLB playoffs?

MLB: San Diego Padres at Philadelphia Phillies
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Twelve teams made the 2022 MLB playoffs, following the expansion of the MLB postseason format implemented under the new collective bargaining agreement. Here are the eight teams that made the playoffs in MLB last season.

  • Houston Astros – World Series champion
  • Philadelphia Phillies – National League champions, World Series runner-up
  • New York Yankees – Lost ALCS in four games to Houston Astros
  • San Diego Padres – Lost NLCS in five games to Philadelphia Phillies
  • Los Angeles Dodgers – Lost NLDS in four games to San Diego Padres
  • Atlanta Braves – Lost NLDS in four games to Philadelphia Phillies
  • Seattle Mariners – Lost ALDS in three games to Houston Astros
  • Cleveland Guardians – Lost ALDS in five games to Cleveland Guardians
  • New York Mets – Lost NLWC in three games to San Diego Padres
  • St. Louis Cardinals – Lost NLWC in two games to St. Louis Cardinals
  • Tampa Bay Rays – Lost ALWC in two games to Cleveland Guardians
  • Toronto Blue Jays – Lost ALWC in two games to Seattle Mariners

MLB postseason tiebreakers

MLB eliminated ‘Game 163’, which it used as a tiebreaker for teams to determine postseason eligibility. With its elimination, MLB is moving towards a tiebreaker system that will determine postseason eligibility and seeding for the MLB playoffs. Here is the order of determination for each MLB playoff tiebreaker.

  • 1. Head-to-Head record
  • 2. Intradivisional Record
  • 3. Interdivision Record
  • 4. Last Half of Intraleague Games
  • 5. Last Half of Intraleague Games plus one (continues until the tie is broken)

Related: MLB scores

How to watch MLB postseason?

A full 2023 schedule, including broadcast information, can be found on MLB games today.

2021 MLB postseason results

MLB: World Series-Houston Astros at Atlanta Braves
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the scores and results from the 2021 MLB playoffs.

National League

  • Wild Card: Los Angeles Dodgers 3, St. Louis Cardinals 1
  • Division Series: Dodgers over Giants (5 games), Braves over Brewers (4 games)
  • NLCS: Braves over Dodgers (6 games)
  • 2021 National League champions: Atlanta Braves

American League

  • Wild Card: Boston Red Sox 6, New York Yankees 1
  • Division Series: Red Sox over Rays (4 games), Astros over White Sox (4 games)
  • ALCS: Astros over Red Sox (6 games)
  • 2021 American League champions: Houston Astros

World Series 2021

  • Atlanta Braves over Houston Astros (6 games)