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2023 MLB Playoffs: Schedule, format & history

The 2023 MLB Playoffs get underway on October 3rd, 2023, as 12 teams will battle it out for a World Series title.

Continue reading for all you need to know about the MLB Playoffs, including 2023 schedule, dates, playoff picture, odds, and more.

2023 MLB Playoff Schedule

Wild Card Series: October 3rd - 5th 

American League Wild Card Series

  • Game 1: Tampa Bay Rays (4) vs. Texas Rangers (5) - Tuesday, October 3rd
  • Game 2: Tampa Bay Rays (4) vs. Texas Rangers (5) - Wednesday, October 4th
  • Game 3* (if necessary): Tampa Bay Rays (4) vs. Texas Rangers (5) - Thursday, October 5th
  • Game 1: Minnesota Twins (3) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (6) - Tuesday, October 3rd
  • Game 2: Minnesota Twins (3) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (6) - Wednesday, October 4th
  • Game 3* (if necessary): Minnesota Twins (3) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (6) - Thursday, October 5th

National League Wild Card Series

  • Game 1: Philadelphia Phillies (6) vs. Miami Marlins (5) - Tuesday, October 3rd
  • Game 2: Philadelphia Phillies (6) vs. Miami Marlins (5) - Wednesday, October 4th
  • Game 3* (if necessary): Philadelphia Phillies (6) vs. Miami Marlins (5) - Thursday, October 5th
  • Game 1: Milwaukee Brewers (3) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (6) - Tuesday, October 3rd
  • Game 2: Milwaukee Brewers (3) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (6) - Wednesday, October 4th
  • Game 3* (if necessary): Milwaukee Brewers (3) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (6) - Thursday, October 5th

Division Series: October 7th - October 14th 

American League Division Series

  • Game 1: Winner of Rays/Rangers vs. Baltimore Orioles (1) - Saturday, October 7th
  • Game 2: Winner of Rays/Rangers vs. Baltimore Orioles (1) - Sunday, October 8th
  • Game 3* (if necessary): Winner of Rays/Rangers vs. Baltimore Orioles (1) - Tuesday, October 10th
  • Game 4* (if necessary): Winner of Rays/Rangers vs. Baltimore Orioles (1) - Wednesday, October 11th
  • Game 5* (if necessary): Winner of Rays/Rangers vs. Baltimore Orioles (1) - Thursday, October 12th
  • Game 1: Winner of Twins/Blue Jays vs. Houston Astros (2) - Saturday, October 7th
  • Game 2: Winner of Twins/Blue Jays vs. Houston Astros (2) - Sunday, October 8th
  • Game 3* (if necessary): Winner of Twins/Blue Jays vs. Houston Astros (2) - Tuesday, October 10th
  • Game 4* (if necessary): Winner of Twins/Blue Jays vs. Houston Astros (2) - Wednesday, October 11th
  • Game 5* (if necessary): Winner of Twins/Blue Jays vs. Houston Astros (2) - Thursday, October 12th

National League Division Series

  • Game 1: Winner of Phillies/Marlins vs. Atlanta Braves (1) - Saturday, October 7th
  • Game 2: Winner of Phillies/Marlins vs. Atlanta Braves (1) - Sunday, October 8th
  • Game 3* (if necessary): Winner of Phillies/Marlins vs. Atlanta Braves (1) - Tuesday, October 10th
  • Game 4* (if necessary): Winner of Phillies/Marlins vs. Atlanta Braves (1) - Wednesday, October 11th
  • Game 5* (if necessary): Winner of Phillies/Marlins vs. Atlanta Braves (1) - Thursday, October 12th
  • Game 1: Winner of Brewers/Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (2) - Saturday, October 7th
  • Game 2: Winner of Brewers/Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (2) - Sunday, October 8th
  • Game 3* (if necessary): Winner of Brewers/Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (2) - Tuesday, October 10th
  • Game 4* (if necessary): Winner of Brewers/Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (2) - Wednesday, October 11th
  • Game 5* (if necessary): Winner of Brewers/Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (2) - Thursday, October 12th

Championship Series: October 15th - October 24th

American League Championship Series

  • Game 1: Winner of ALDS1 vs. Winner of ALDS2 - Sunday, October 15th
  • Game 2: Winner of ALDS1 vs. Winner of ALDS2 - Monday, October 16th
  • Game 3* (if necessary): Winner of ALDS1 vs. Winner of ALDS2 - Wednesday, October 18th
  • Game 4* (if necessary): Winner of ALDS1 vs. Winner of ALDS2 - Thursday, October 19th
  • Game 5* (if necessary): Winner of ALDS1 vs. Winner of ALDS2 - Saturday, October 21st
  • Game 6* (if necessary): Winner of ALDS1 vs. Winner of ALDS2 - Sunday, October 22nd
  • Game 7* (if necessary): Winner of ALDS1 vs. Winner of ALDS2 - Tuesday, October 24th

National League Championship Series

  • Game 1: Winner of NLDS1 vs. Winner of NLDS2 - Monday, October 16th
  • Game 2: Winner of NLDS1 vs. Winner of NLDS2 - Tuesday, October 17th
  • Game 3* (if necessary): Winner of NLDS1 vs. Winner of NLDS2 - Thursday, October 19th
  • Game 4* (if necessary): Winner of NLDS1 vs. Winner of NLDS2 - Friday, October 20th
  • Game 5* (if necessary): Winner of NLDS1 vs. Winner of NLDS2 - Sunday, October 22nd
  • Game 6* (if necessary): Winner of NLDS1 vs. Winner of NLDS2 - Monday, October 23rd
  • Game 7* (if necessary): Winner of NLDS1 vs. Winner of NLDS2 - Tuesday, October 24th

World Series: October 27th - November 4th

How many teams are in the MLB Playoffs?

The 2023 MLB playoffs will feature a total of 12 teams. 

Every division winner will receive an automatic bid which makes up six teams, and then three Wild-Card teams will clinch a spot from each league.

MLB Playoff Format

The bracket for the MLB playoffs has been a little different over the past few years. Below we have explained the format for the playoffs this season:

Wild-Card Series: Best of 3 Games 

- Format: HHH 

- All 3 Games will be hosted by the higher seed

AL

- #4 Seed vs. #5 Seed 
- #3 Seed vs. #6 Seed

NL

- #4 Seed vs. #5 Seed 
- #3 Seed vs. #6 Seed

Division Series: Best of 5 Games:

- Format: HH-AA-H

- Games 1, 2, and 5 will be hosted by the team with the higher seed 
- Games 3 and 4 will be hosted by the team with the lower seed

AL

- #1 Seed vs. #4 Seed or #5 Seed 
- #2 Seed vs. #3 Seed or #6 Seed

NL

- #1 Seed vs. #4 Seed or #5 Seed 
- #2 Seed vs. #3 Seed or #6 Seed

Championship Series: Best of 7 Games

- Format: HH-AAA-HH

- Games 1, 2, 6, and 7 will be hosted by the team with the higher seed 
- Games 3, 4, and 5 will be hosted by the team with the lower seed

AL

- #1 Seed or #4 Seed or #5 Seed vs. #2 Seed or #3 Seed or #6 Seed

NL

- #1 Seed or #4 Seed or #5 Seed vs. #2 Seed or #3 Seed or #6 Seed

World Series: Best of 7 Games

- Format: HH-AAA-HH

- Games 1, 2, 6, and 7 will be hosted by the team with the higher seed or the better record if the same seed
- Games 3, 4, and 5 will be hosted by the team with the lower seed or the worst record

- Winner of AL Championship Series vs. Winner of NL Championship Series

2023 MLB Playoff Bracket

The 2023 playoff bracket is set. See below for what bracket looks like in both the American and National League.

American League

  • Wild Card Series: No. 4 Rays vs. No. 5 Rangers; No. 3 Twins vs. No. 6 Blue Jays
  • ALDS: Winner of Rays/Rangers vs. No. 1 Orioles; Winner of Twins/Blue Jays vs. No. 2 Astros
  • ALCS: Winner of ALDS1 vs. Winner of ALDS2
  • World Series: Winner of ALCS vs. Winner of NLCS

National League

  • Wild Card Series: No. 6 Phillies vs. No. 5 Marlins; No. 3 Brewers vs. No. 6 Diamondbacks
  • NLDS: Winner of Phillies/Marlins vs. No. 1 Braves; Winner of Brewers/Diamondbacks vs. No. 2 Dodgers
  • NLCS: Winner of NLDS1 vs. Winner of NLDS2
  • World Series: Winner of NLCS vs. Winner of ALCS

Most Successful MLB Playoff Teams

The New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals are the most successful teams in the history of the MLB Playoffs based on World Series title.

The Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Francisco Giants are the top three teams in terms of MLB Playoff appearances.

Read more on MLB World Series winning teams and players here.

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