It seems like just yesterday that pitchers and catchers were reporting for Spring Training. But Labor Day has come and gone, and the MLB playoffs are almost upon us: The end of the 2023 regular season is set for Sunday, Oct. 1, while Wild Card series begin a couple of days later on Tuesday, Oct. 3. With a new postseason format and tight races up and down both leagues, it’s bound to be a furious race to the finish — so we’re here to help you keep track of the mayhem with a running list of the teams who have punched their ticket to October.
2023 MLB playoff teams that have clinched
Atlanta Braves, clinched division — It’s no surprise that a Braves team that’s been the class of the Majors for months now would also be the first team in the Majors to clinch a playoff spot. Atlanta wrapped up their spot in the postseason with a 5-2 win over the Pirates on Sunday afternoon — not that that was ever in doubt — then nailed down the NL East by taking three of four in Philadelphia last week. The only thing left on the list? The NL’s top seed, for which they lead the Dodgers by 4.5 games with less than two weeks to go.
Los Angeles Dodgers, clinched division — Despite all the turmoil L.A. has gone through this season — losing Trea Turner and Cody Bellinger, injuries up and down their starting rotation, filling gaps with unproven rookies and unheralded vets — here they are again, NL West champs for the 10th time in 11 years after beating the Mariners over the weekend. They’re almost certainly locked into the second seed, but who knows, the Braves just got swept in Miami.
Baltimore Orioles, clinched playoffs — The Orioles didn’t just take a huge step towards their first division title in nearly a decade with their dramatic rally against the Rays on Sunday; thanks to Texas, Seattle, New York and Boston all losing, they wrapped up their first playoff spot since 2016. After this weekend’s split against Tampa, Baltimore is now two up — three in the loss column — on the Rays in the AL East race as well.
Tampa Bay Rays, clinched playoffs — Tampa may not have been able to celebrate in the moment given how gut-wrenching Sunday’s loss was, but they too punched their ticket to October thanks to the struggles of everyone else in the AL Wild Card race right now. The Rays have won seven of 10 and could very well have taken three of four in Baltimore this weekend; they’re still a very dangerous team, and they’ll at worst wind up with home-field advantage in the first round.
Minnesota Twins, clinched division — It took a bit longer than it should’ve, but the Twins finally put the Guardians to bed and wrapped up the dismal AL Central. They’re more or less locked into the third seed in the American League playoff bracket; what remains to be seen is which team — likely one of the AL West’s big three — they’ll be welcoming to Target Field in the Wild Card round.
Milwaukee Brewers, clinched playoffs — The Brewers have wrapped up a playoff spot thanks to a very solid September (one of the few NL contenders outside of Atlanta and L.A. that have been playing well of late). Milwaukee still has some business to attend to, though: Their magic number in the NL Central is down to one entering play on Tuesday, meaning they could be popping bottles as soon as tonight’s contest against the Cardinals — especially with the Cubs facing the Braves in Atlanta.