All of the tickets to this year's MLB Postseason have been punched. It turns out that we only needed 161 games because all 12 teams clinched a playoff berth and their seeds had been locked in just one day before the regular season ended.
The Dodgers were the first team to clinch their respective division, as they secured the NL West on September 13th. They secured this title in 141 games, the fastest team to win the division since the franchise moved from Brooklyn. This marks the ninth time in the past ten years they have won the division.
The Astros clinched the AL West with a 4-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on September 19th. With a quality start from Luis Garcia and RBIs from Bregman, Alvarez, and Altuve, the Astros clinched their fifth American League West Division title in the past six seasons
The Guardians officially clinched the AL Central when the Chicago White Sox lost 4-1 to the Detroit Tigers on September 25th, and got to celebrate in style when they pounded the Texas Rangers 10-4. The division crown is Cleveland's first since a run of three straight from 2016-18, and the team will also return to the postseason for the first time since the COVID-shortened 2020 season.
The Cardinals clinched the NL Central with a 6-2 win over the Brewers on September 27th, and are back in the playoffs for a fourth straight year. With the legendary careers of Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina coming to an end, the Cardinals will hope to make a deep playoff run.
The Yankees clinched the AL East with a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on September 27th. This was the Yankees 20th American League East title. It's the first divisional pennant for New York since 2019, which was also the year that Aaron Boone won his first title as a manager.
The Braves were the last team to clinch their division. They won the NL East for the fifth straight year after a 2-1 win over the Marlins on October 4th. The Braves put themselves in position to clinch by sweeping a weekend series against the Mets. They gained a 10-9 win advantage in the season series, which served as the tiebreaker in this year’s division race. By winning the National League East, the Braves have secured the number two-seed in the National League playoffs.
The postseason, expanded from 10 teams last year to 12 this season, begins with a newly created wild-card round. In the past, there was one wild-card game in each league that was win or go home. This year, there will be four series that are best two of three, three days in a row, no breaks, with the higher seed hosting every game.
In the National League, it's Padres vs. Mets and Phillies vs. Cardinals. In the American League, it’s Mariners vs. Blue Jays and Rays vs. Guardians.