Major League Baseball is the oldest of the major professional sports leagues in the United States, with roots going back to the 1870s. It has a lot of history and tradition. There has been a name for the final series that decides which team is best for a long time: World Series.

The name came from when the National League played against the American Association at the start of 1880. Those who win the American League Championship Series and National League Championship Series play each other in the World Series, which is a best of seven matchups.

If a team had the best regular-season win-loss record in each league prior to 1969, they were guaranteed a spot in the World Series, save in the event of a tie that necessitated the need for a playoff. There have been 117 World Series games to date, with the American League winning 66 and the National League winning 51.

MLB Playoffs explained

Pennants were awarded to teams having the best record in each league between 1901 and 1968. Since the first World Series was played in 1903, the American League champions have faced off against the National League champions in a best-of-seven (best-of-nine) series called the World Series. Both leagues grew to 10 teams in 1961-62, but the single-tiered format remained in place until 1968.

A twelve-team expansion in 1969 made the race for league title more difficult. Then, baseball went underwent a major restructuring in 1994, when the American and National Leagues were split into three divisions: Eastern, Central, and Western. To mimic the NFL’s post-merger playoff structure, each league was given one wild card position in the postseason.

Starting with the 2022 campaign, a new postseason structure was introduced. Each league’s top two division winners will earn byes to the divisional playoffs. This year’s wild-card round will be decided by a best-of-three series between the higher and lower seeded teams, with the higher seed hosting all three games. There is no longer a “Game 163,” since playoff positions are now decided via tie-breaker algorithms. A quarterfinal matchup will pit one of the top seeds against a winner from positions 4 through 5, with the runner-up taking on the victor from positions 3 through 6. There is no re-seeding of the brackets.