The 2022 MLB Playoffs are set to get started on Friday, October 7. The final seedings are in no way decided, as the only team to officially clinch a playoff spot at the time of this writing is the Los Angeles Dodgers. If the playoffs were to end today, the Seattle Mariners, Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays would all enter the playoffs as an AL Wild Card team. The National League Wild Card spots would go to the Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies and the San Diego Padres.
MLB playoff bracket: Matchups on Sept. 13
No. 3 Cleveland Guardians (AL Central winner) vs. No. 6 Tampa Bay Rays (3rd WC spot)
No. 4 Toronto Blue Jays (1st WC spot) vs. No. 5 Seattle Mariners (2nd WC spot)
The team in the third Wild Card spot will draw the division winner with the worst record. The Rays, who are currently 79-61, would enter as the AL’s No. 6 seed and take on the Guardians. Ironically, the Guardians would have a worse record than the Rays if the playoffs started today. Both of these teams have struggled with injuries, but Tampa Bay has been the better team this season. If both teams are healthy and have their expected rosters, this series should go the Rays’ way.
The rebuilding Mariners are an interesting team this season as they tried to rebuild over one off-season. The 2022 Home Run Derby runner-up Julio Rodriguez has taken this team to new heights, and the players they have acquired are playing to their potential as the playoffs near. The Blue Jays were expected to compete for the AL East Crown but got off to a really slow start. There were times that it didn't look like they would even be in contention for a playoff spot, but they are battling down the stretch thanks to the bat of Bo Bichette finally waking up. This would be a very interesting series, and it would come down to which team could stay hot longer, with my vote being the Blue Jays advancing.
All eyes are on St. Louis Cardinals veteran DH Albert Pujols vying for his 700th home run. What fans may not realize is the Cardinals are also sitting atop the NL Central and have decently distanced themselves from the Milwaukee Brewers. If the playoffs started today they would meet the Padres in the first round of the playoffs. We know Fernando Tatis won’t be a factor in the series, but new Padre Juan Soto certainly would be. San Diego is still a powerhouse despite being a cool 20.5 games behind the Dodgers in their own division. If they play up to their standards, they should have a competitive rotation and dominant bullpen to go along with their deep lineup. I think San Diego could play upset in this series.
The Braves and the Phillies are no strangers to playing each other as they faced off all season in the NL East. Atlanta made a strong playoff push a season ago, resulting in their being crowned World Series champions. They have the team make-up to make it happen again but would have to get through the Phillies and then likely the New York Mets and/or the Los Angeles Dodgers. Philadelphia made big off-season moves that put them in contention for the playoffs. Despite prolonged injuries to Bryce Harper, they are still poised to crack the playoffs. They have the power to win a series behind their starting pitching, they just need their lineup to wake up. It’s a homer pick, but give me Atlanta to win the series if this matchup were to happen.