Major league baseball is a complicated sport when it comes to determining which teams make it to the playoffs. Wild cards, record holders, divisional winners -- it's all a little confusing unless you're a diehard fan. However, this guide should assist you, explaining the basics of what goes into determining the teams in major league baseball playoffs, and determining which teams advanced to the league championships and world series. Here's how you can make an MLB playoff bracket.
Understand what a playoff bracket is. An MLB (major league baseball) playoff bracket is simply a visual chart to show which teams play each other at each stage of the major league baseball (MLB) playoffs. People often make MLB playoff bracket predictions, casting bets and losing fortunes by guessing which teams they think will advance in the MLB playoff bracket each year. Having an MLB playoff bracket in front of you will help you to visualize how the playoffs may pan out, but you'll never know how a MLB playoff bracket will look when it's completed until the end of the major league baseball season, when one team is titled as the winner and claims the coveted spot of ‘champion' on the MLB playoff bracket.
Separate your chart into two sections. An MLB playoff bracket is split into two sides. One side shows the NL (National League) teams, and one side shows the AL (American League) teams. To begin making your MLB playoff bracket, divide your page into two sides, and label each side accordingly.
Learn how to show a divisional playoff game on a bracket. A playoff bracket shows a series of two lines grouped together that denote two teams that are pitted against each other in the baseball playoffs. It begins with two games on each side, (2 teams playing 2 separate games, for a total of 4 teams listed). Each team that is listed is written on a line either directly above or below the team it is playing against, and the feuding teams' lines are joined vertically to illustrate the game they will play against each other. Picture it looking like a square box, with one side missing. One team's name is written on the top of the box, and one team's name is written on the bottom of the box. Do this for both games that will be played on each of the AL and NL sides. The winners of this portion of the bracket are referred to as the divisional series champions. Then the bracket continues to show the league championship series.
Illustrate the league championship series on your MLB playoff bracket. Once you have determined the two winners from the divisional series the NL side, those two winners will have to play each other to determine the league champions. To show this on your MLB bracket, you're going to draw another 3-sided box. Draw a line coming out of the middle of the divisional game boxes, and write the winning team's name on that line. Connect both winning teams with a vertical line, and now you've illustrated another game to be played in this MLB playoff bracket. Do this for both the AL and NL side of your MLB playoff bracket.
Show the league champions in the World Series. Once the league championship game is played on both the AL and the NL side, one winner will be determined on each side. This is when the two sides of your MLB playoff bracket will join in the middle of your page. Draw a line coming out of the middle of each league championship game, and write the winner of that champion on the line. You should have two team names written side by side. This shows which two teams will be in the World Series. Because the two teams come from different leagues (AL versus NL), no square box is drawn to illustrate this game. Only a line is needed.
Show the World Series winner. Once the World Series game has been played, you have determined an overall winner for your MLB playoff bracket. Draw a line under the competing World Series team names, all by itself. Write the winning team's name on this line, with the word ‘champion' underneath.
Baseball fans should have no trouble reading your MLB playoff bracket. If you need a copy of a blank MLB playoff bracket, you can download one here: http://www.printyourbrackets.com/MLBbracketprint.html .