MLB Playoff Format Explained & Printable 2019 Postseason Bracket

David Hayes
World Series - Houston Astros v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Seven
World Series - Houston Astros v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Seven / Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
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While each MLB regular season features more than 4,800 games being played by 30 different ball clubs, it all comes down to 10 teams making the playoffs and one World Series champion come October.

Unlike other major professional leagues' postseason formats, such as the NFL and its 12 playoff berths or the NBA and its 16 playoff spots, the MLB only opens its postseason gates to 10 teams each fall – four (two from the American League and two from the National League) of which have to duel it out in single-elimination matchups in the Wild Card round.

MLB Playoff Format

The MLB postseason features a bracket split between the AL and NL, and each league produces a total of five playoff teams. Among those five clubs from each league, the team with the best overall record receives the No. 1 seed and a matchup with the winner of the same league's respective Wild Card game. The Wild Card matchup features each league's top two teams by record that did not win their respective divisions. Lastly, the remaining two division winners face one another in the Division Series.

The winners of the Division Series, which is a best-of-five format, move onto the ALCS and NLCS. The Championship Series is a best-of-seven with those winners advancing to face one another in the World Series – also a best-of-seven series.

Printable 2019 MLB Playoff Bracket

For an on-paper representation of the MLB playoff format described above, you can view and print out the 2019 MLB Postseason bracket by clicking here. You'll have to wait to fill in the team names, but playoff hopefuls can dream in advance.


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David Hayes is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David Hayes also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username DavidWHayes. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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