There are still a couple weeks left to go in the 2022 MLB regular season, but a few teams are already looking toward October.
The Dodgers have officially secured the season’s first playoff berth, and the Houston Astros, New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees and Cleveland Guardians followed next. Meanwhile, clubs such as the Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays, Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres, are battling it out for the remaining wild-card spots. Beyond division races, there are many storylines to watch as the regular season comes to an end and October begins, such as Seattle’s attempt to break a 21-year playoff drought, Aaron Judge‘s race to 62 home runs and Albert Pujols‘ quest for 700 career home runs.
Where do the current playoff matchups stand? What series should you be paying attention to in the coming week? And what does the playoff schedule look like? We have everything you need to know as the regular season winds down.
What are this October’s MLB playoff matchups as it stands now?
Wild-card round: (6) Mariners at (3) Guardians*, (5) Rays at (4) Blue Jays
ALDS: Mariners/Guardians vs. (2) Yankees*, Rays/Blue Jays vs. (1) Astros*
Wild-card round: (6) Phillies at (3) Cardinals, (5) Padres at (4) Braves*
NLDS: Phillies/Cardinals vs. (2) Mets*, Padres/Braves vs. (1) Dodgers*
*Clinched playoff berth
Who is in?
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Astros became the second team to clinch a postseason berth and followed it up by clinching the AL West title, which is Houston’s fifth division crown in the past six seasons.
New York Mets
The Mets clinched a playoff spot with Max Scherzer’s 200th career win in Milwaukee. While New York is still chasing the bigger goal of an NL East title and the wild-card round bye that comes with it, this is the team’s first playoff appearance since 2016.
While the battle for the NL East will likely come down to the wire, the defending champion Braves clinched a return to the postseason the day after the Mets.
New York Yankees
The Yankees secured their sixth straight playoff berth with a walk-off win over the Red Sox on Thursday night and now turn their attention to wrapping up the AL East, which they can clinch with a win at Toronto tonight.
The Guardians clinched the AL Central for the first time since 2018 with a 10-4 win over Texas on Sunday afternoon, becoming the sixth team to secure a postseason berth.
Who could be next?
St. Louis is counting down to a likely NL Central title thanks to a comfortable division lead over Milwaukee. The Cardinals can clinch with a win at Milwaukee on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Key upcoming series
Yankees at Blue Jays: Sept. 26-28
The Yankees look to clinch AL East race in a three-game series against a Blue Jays team that is trying to keep the Mariners and Rays at bay to maintain its No. 4 seed.
Cardinals at Brewers: Sept. 27-28
A two-game set between NL Central foes might be less enticing with the Brewers so many games behind, but it is worth watching with the Cardinals on the verge of clinching the division.
Dodgers at Padres: Sept. 27-29
The Dodgers have the franchise single-season wins record within reach, while the Padres are battling the Phillies and the surging Brewers for wild-card positioning.
Rays at Guardians: Sept. 27-29
Cleveland has now clinched the AL Central but will look to keep proving itself against fellow playoff contenders. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay is locked in back-and-forth wild-card race with Seattle and Toronto.
Wild Card Series
Best of three, all games at better seed’s stadium
Game 1: Friday, Oct. 7
Game 2: Saturday, Oct. 8
Game 3: Sunday, Oct. 9*
Best of five
Game 1: Tuesday, Oct. 11
Game 2: Thursday, Oct. 13
Game 3: Saturday Oct. 15
Game 4: Sunday, Oct. 16*
Game 5: Monday, Oct. 17*
Game 1: Tuesday, Oct. 11
Game 2: Wednesday, Oct. 12
Game 3: Friday, Oct. 14
Game 4: Saturday, Oct. 15*
Game 5: Sunday, Oct. 16*
League Championship Series
Best of seven
Game 1: Wednesday, Oct. 19
Game 2: Thursday, Oct. 20
Game 3: Saturday Oct. 22
Game 4: Sunday, Oct. 23
Game 5: Monday, Oct. 24*
Game 6: Tuesday, Oct. 25*
Game 7: Wednesday Oct. 26*
Game 1: Tuesday, Oct. 18
Game 2: Wednesday, Oct. 19
Game 3: Friday, Oct. 21
Game 4: Saturday, Oct. 22
Game 5: Sunday, Oct. 23*
Game 6: Monday, Oct. 24*
Game 7: Tuesday, Oct. 25*
Best of seven
Game 1: Friday, Oct. 28
Game 2: Saturday, Oct. 29
Game 3: Monday, Oct. 31
Game 4: Tuesday, Nov. 1
Game 5: Wednesday, Nov. 2*
Game 6: Friday, Nov. 4*
Game 7: Saturday, Nov. 5*
* If necessary
Georgia’s Bennett arrested for public intoxication
Former Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett, who led the Bulldogs to their second straight CFP National Championship earlier this month, was arrested on a misdemeanor public intoxication charge in Dallas on Sunday morning.
In a statement to ESPN, a Dallas Police Department spokesperson said officers responded to a report of a man banging on doors in the 1600 block of Tribeca Way at 7:10 a.m. ET on Sunday.
“The preliminary investigation found when officers arrived, they located the man, Stetson Bennett, 25, and determined he was intoxicated,” the police statement read. “Bennett was taken into custody, transported to the City Detention Center and charged with public intoxication.”
Bennett left the detention center Sunday morning, but he could not be reached for comment.
Bennett, who started his college career as a walk-on, was a Heisman Trophy finalist this past season, after leading the Bulldogs to a 15-0 record and SEC championship. He passed for 4,127 yards with 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions, while rushing for another 10 scores.
Bennett was named the offensive MVP in both of Georgia’s victories in the CFP, a 42-41 comeback win against Ohio State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and a 65-7 rout of TCU in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T.
Bennett, who is listed at 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, is considered a potential selection in April’s NFL draft. He recently won the Manning Award, which is given to the top quarterback in the FBS by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Sources: Ex-Buffs QB Shrout picks Arkansas St.
Shrout visited Arkansas State over the weekend and his commitment looms as a significant win for Butch Jones, who is entering his third season as Arkansas State’s head coach.
Shrout will graduate from Colorado this spring and plans to enroll at Arkansas State in May, according to sources. He has one year of eligibility remaining and potentially a second if he gets a medical redshirt after missing the entire 2021 season with a torn ACL.
Shrout most recently played at Colorado in 2022, where he threw for 1,220 yards, seven touchdowns and eight interceptions and delivered the game-winning touchdown pass against Cal in overtime in Colorado’s lone victory of the season. He started seven games at Colorado and had one start during his three seasons at Tennessee (2018-2020).
Shrout is one of three Buffaloes quarterbacks who have entered the NCAA transfer portal since the school hired Deion Sanders as head coach. Sanders has made it clear that his son, Shedeur, will be the starter next season. He introduced him at his opening news conference by saying, “This is your quarterback.”
According to sources, Shrout was attracted to the potential opportunity at Arkansas State, including playing in offensive coordinator Keith Heckendorf’s West Coast-style offense. Shrout also had some teammates at Tennessee who played for Jones, and sources said the former teammates endorsed Jones both as a person and a coach.
Arkansas State (3-9) ranked No. 118 in total offense last season and No. 85 in scoring offense. The Red Wolves open the 2023 season at Oklahoma on Sept. 2.
Sources: Harbaugh, Broncos meet but no deal
Broncos owner Greg Penner and University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh met last week in Ann Arbor to discuss Denver’s head-coaching position without any deal materializing, league sources told ESPN.
Although Harbaugh two weeks ago announced he was staying at Michigan, Penner did his due diligence and still traveled to Ann Arbor to meet with the coach in person, like he’s done with seven other candidates during the Broncos’ head-coaching search.
The follow-up conversations were part of the process for both Denver — led by Penner with general manager George Paton — and Harbaugh. The face-to-face meeting came after Harbaugh’s initial video interview with Denver, after which he pulled his name out of contention and reaffirmed his commitment to Michigan.
“I love the relationships that I have at Michigan — coaches, staff, families, administration, president Santa Ono and especially the players and their families,” Harbaugh said in his statement Jan. 16. “My heart is at the University of Michigan. I once heard a wise man say, ‘Don’t try to out-happy, happy.’ Go Blue!”
The Broncos moved on as well, continuing their discussions with several other candidates. Denver has interviewed former Saints coach Sean Payton, former Colts and Lions coach Jim Caldwell, former Stanford coach David Shaw, Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and their own defensive coordinator, Ejiro Evero.
Harbaugh now has met with the Vikings and Broncos in back-to-back years. While one source wondered how many more chances Harbaugh would get, another league source said “The league is likely to be interested in Jim as long as he is successfully coaching. He’s proven at every level including the NFL. That’s a hard resume to match.”
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