MLB playoff tracker: Who has clinched, plus scenarios, schedule

Friday, September 29, 2023 1:33AM

There's less than a week left in the 2023 MLB regular season, and a few teams are already looking toward October.

Earlier this month, the Atlanta Braves became the first team to clinch a postseason berth,following it up by winning the NL East.The Los Angeles Dodgers joined them by clinching the NL West, and the Milwaukee Brewers secured the NL Central title on Tuesday night. Soon after, theBaltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Raysboth secured their spots in October. Meanwhile, clubs such as the Seattle Mariners,Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs, are battling it out for the remaining wild-card spots.

Even beyond division races, there are many storylines to watch as the regular season comes to an end and October begins.

Where do the current playoff matches stand? What games should you be paying attention to today? And what does the playoff schedule look like? We have everything you need to know as the regular season winds down.

Key links: Full MLB standings| Wild-card standings | Final-week storylines

Who is in?

Atlanta Braves

With a win over Pittsburgh on Sept. 10, the Braves became the first team to punch a ticket to this year's playoffs -- their sixth straight postseason berth. Atlanta followed it up by clinching the NL East crown with a victory in Philadelphialast week.

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers secured their 10th NL West crown in the past 11 seasons with a victory over the Mariners last week, making L.A. the second team to punch its ticket to this postseason.

Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles secured a playoff berth with a walk-off win in the 11th inning against the Rays. Baltimore followed it up by clinching the AL East crown with its 100th win of the season on Sept. 28.

Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays will host the wild card series as the No. 4 seed.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers clinched a playoff spot with a blowout win over the Marlins and secured the NL Central title on Tuesday night.

Minnesota Twins

The Minnesota Twins clinched the AL Central title with a win over the Angelslast week.

Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies clinched a playoff spot with a win against the Pirates on Tuesday -- and just a few hours later secured the No. 4 overall seed when the Cubs lost. Philadelphia will host the No. 5 overall seed for a wildcard series.

Who's next?

Texas Rangers

The Rangers have started to distance themselves from the Astros and Mariners in the race for the AL West title, with the winner getting the No. 2 seed in the AL.

Toronto Blue Jays

While the AL West teams duke it out, the Blue Jays are making a strong case for one of the remaining wild card spots. Their final two series come against the Yankees and Rays.

Arizona Diamondbacks

The D-backs have emerged ahead of the Cubs and Marlins for the NL's second wild-card spot entering the season's final days.

What are this October's MLB playoff matchups as it stands now?

American League

Wild-card round: (6) Astros at (3) Twins*, (5) Blue Jays at (4) Rays*

ALDS: Twins/Astros vs. (2) Rangers, Rays/Blue Jays vs. (1) Orioles*

National League

Wild-card round: (6) Marlins at (3) Brewers*, (5) D-backs at (4) Phillies*

NLDS: Brewers/Cubs vs. (2) Dodgers*, Phillies/D-backs vs. (1) Braves*

* -- clinched playoff spot

As the sprint to the finish heats up over the final days of the regular season, here's how ESPN Analytics projects the postseason bracket to look when the playoffs begin.

Breaking down the AL race

Despite spending much of the season atop the AL East, the Rays find themselves the top wild-card team in the American League after the Orioles took sole possession of first place in the division in late July. The Toronto Blue Jays, meanwhile,are locked in a close battle for the final wild-card spots.

TheTexas Rangers, like the Rays, led the division for more than 100 days this season but now finds themselves in a tight battle for the AL West title. The Mariners andHouston Astrosare right behind them, fighting the Blue Jays for those wild card spots. The Minnesota Twinswill be the AL Central's sole representative in October.

And what about when these teams get to the playoffs? Here's what their chances are for every round:

Breaking down the NL race

The divisional races in the National League aren't quite as close as the ones in the AL, with the NL East and West locked up already. The Milwaukee Brewers have long held first place in the NL Central, too.

Now, the wild-card race is where it gets exciting. While the Phillies have a strong hold on the first wild-card spot, four teams -- the Chicago Cubs,Arizona Diamondbacks, Cincinnati RedsandMiami Marlins-- are within a few games of each other for the final spots. Miami and Cincinnati are the big surprises, as neither team was thought to be a playoff contender entering the season.

And what about when these teams get to the playoffs? Here's what their chances are for every round:

Game of the day

Need something to watch today? Here's the baseball game with the biggest playoff implications:

Playoff schedule

Wild-card series

Best of three, all games at better seed's stadium

Game 1: Tuesday, Oct. 3

Game 2: Wednesday, Oct. 4

Game 3: Thursday, Oct. 5*

Division series

Best of five


Game 1: Saturday, Oct. 7

Game 2: Sunday, Oct. 8

Game 3: Tuesday Oct. 10

Game 4: Wednesday, Oct. 11*

Game 5: Friday, Oct. 13*


Game 1: Saturday, Oct. 7

Game 2: Monday, Oct. 9

Game 3: Wednesday, Oct. 11

Game 4: Thursday, Oct. 12*

Game 5: Saturday, Oct. 14*

League championship series

Best of seven


Game 1: Sunday, Oct. 15

Game 2: Monday, Oct. 16

Game 3: Wednesday, Oct. 18

Game 4: Thursday, Oct. 19

Game 5: Friday, Oct. 20*

Game 6: Sunday, Oct. 22*

Game 7: Monday, Oct. 23*


Game 1: Monday, Oct. 16

Game 2: Tuesday, Oct. 17

Game 3: Thursday, Oct. 19

Game 4: Friday, Oct. 20

Game 5: Saturday, Oct. 21*

Game 6: Monday, Oct. 23*

Game 7: Tuesday, Oct. 24*

World Series

Best of seven

Game 1: Friday, Oct. 27

Game 2: Saturday, Oct. 28

Game 3: Monday, Oct. 30

Game 4: Tuesday, Oct. 31

Game 5: Wednesday, Nov. 1*

Game 6: Friday, Nov. 3*

Game 7: Saturday, Nov. 4*

* If necessary