2022 MLB Playoffs Preview


Guardians starting pitcher Shane Bieber will be on the mound for Game 1 of the 2022 AL Wild Card series on Friday vs. the Rays. | Image by Joshua Gunter

The 2022 MLB playoffs begin Friday afternoon, with 12 teams vying for a chance to lift this year’s World Series trophy in a new format.

The Dodgers, who enter October with the best record in MLB and a franchise-record number of wins, hope to add another title to prove that their 2020 title was not a fluke. Meanwhile, the Braves are attempting to become baseball’s first repeat champions since the Yankees won three in a row from 1998 to 2000. On the other hand, the Yankees will try to regain their early-season form and make a run at the Fall Classic as the American League’s No.2 seed.

As the playoff field expands from eight teams to 12 for the 2022 postseason, four best-of-three Wild Card series begin Friday, October 7, to determine which teams will advance to the Division Series. In the American League, the Wild Card playoff winners will face either the Houston Astros or the New York Yankees. In the National League, playoff winners will face either the Atlanta Braves or Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Tampa Bay Rays play the Cleveland Guardians first, followed by the Philadelphia Phillies at the St. Louis Cardinals. The Seattle Mariners face the Toronto Blue Jays next, followed by the San Diego Padres and the New York Mets.

Tampa Bay Rays at Cleveland Guardians (12:07 p.m. ET)

The series tied 0-0

Cleveland Guardians vs. Toronto Blue Jays game 1 features a marquee pitching matchup in Shane McClanahan vs. Shane Bieber, and fans can expect a low-scoring game to follow. The Guardians’ bullpen is strong, with closer Emmanuel Clase and the likes of Sam Hentges and Eli Morgan anchoring the relief corps.

Tampa Bay starter: Shane McClanahan (12-8, 2.54 ERA, 194 K)

Cleveland starter: Shane Bieber (13-8, 2.88 ERA, 198 K)

Philadelphia Phillies at St. Louis Cardinals (2:07 p.m. ET)

The series tied 0-0

The Cardinals are the last team to declare a Game 1 starter for the wild-card round. There is no clear-cut ace on the staff nor a substantial separation between pitchers one through five. The starters could be the great equalizer for the Phillies.

Philadelphia starter: Zack Wheeler (12-7, 2.82 ERA, 163 K)

St. Louis starter: Jose Quintana (6-7, 2.93 ERA, 137 K)

Seattle Mariners at Toronto Blue Jays (4:07 p.m. ET)

The series tied 0-0

The Blue Jays haven’t won a title in nearly 30 years, and the Mariners have never won one. This series has the makings of an old-school October pitching duel.

Seattle starter: Luis Castillo (8-6, 2.99 ERA, 167 K)

Toronto starter: Alek Manoah (16-7, 2.24 ERA, 180 K)

San Diego Padres at New York Mets (8:07 p.m. ET)

The series tied 0-0

Max Scherzer takes the hill for the Mets, who won 101 games. The Padres’ pitching rotation has been red-hot in recent weeks.

San Diego starter: Yu Darvish (16-8, 3.10 ERA, 197 K)

New York starter: Max Scherzer (11-5, 2.29 ERA,173 K).

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