The best moment of the year has come. The regular season was fun, but now it's turn for the most exciting part ot the calendar. The stage is set for the 2022 MLB playoffs, which get underway on Friday, October 7.

Though the reigning champions Atlanta Braves made their way to the postseason — clinching the National League East division title in dramatic fashion, many teams look prepared to dethrone them.

Once again, fans will see a different format to the Major League Baseball playoffs as a result of the months-long lockout that postponed Opening Day this year. Here, check out everything you need to know.

2022 MLB playoffs format: How will the baseball postseason be played?

As part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement between MLB and the Players Association, the 2022 playoffs were expanded from 10 to 12 teams - with each league receiving an extra Wild Card berth.

The playoff format works as follows: six teams from each league (American and National) qualify for the postseason. The top two seeds in each league at the end of the regular season receive first-round byes, qualifying directly for the Division Series.

The remaining teams — the third-best division winners and the best three teams among non-division winners — are drawn against each other in the Wild Card round according to their seed, playing to a best-of-three series at the home of the higher seed for a place in the next round. Regardless of the results, there are no reeseedings.

Seeds (per league):

  • Seed #1: Best overall record
  • Seed #2: Second-best division winner
  • Seed #3: Third-best division winner
  • Seed #4, #5, #6: Best three among non-division winners, ordered by record

Wild Card (first round, best-of-three format at higher seed):

  • #3 vs. #6
  • #4 vs. #5

Division Series (best-of-five format):

  • DS1: #1 vs. Winner of 4-5
  • DS2: #2 vs. Winner of 3-6

League Championship Series (best-of-seven format):

  • DS1 vs. DS2

World Series (best-of-seven format):

  • ALCS winner vs. NLCS winner

2022 MLB playoffs teams

American League

  1. Houston Astros
  2. New York Yankees
  3. Cleveland Guardians
  4. Toronto Blue Jays
  5. Seattle Mariners
  6. Tampa Bay Rays

National League

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. Atlanta Braves
  3. St. Louis Cardinals
  4. New York Mets
  5. San Diego Padres
  6. Philadelphia Phillies

2022 MLB playoffs schedule & key dates

  • Wild Card Series: Friday, Oct. 7 - Sunday, Oct.9
  • Division Series: Tuesday, Oct. 11 - Monday, Oct. 17
  • League Championship Series: Tuesday, Oct. 18 - Wednesday, Oct. 26
  • World Series: Friday, Oct. 28 - Sat. Nov 5

2022 MLB playoffs bracket