The MLB postseason bubble sites have been announced, and with it the playoffs are nearing
Ten teams will make the MLB playoffs in a revolutionary postseason format made for a bizarre, shortened gimmick of a season. Starting on Sept. 29 with the Wild Card Games, the likes of Arlington, Houston, San Diego and Los Angeles will host the playoffs with no fans in the stands. While that may seem like an advantage for the home teams, Rob Manfred is making the most out of a year that was always going to be associated with an asterisk.
That leaves less than a month until the playoffs begin, and with it contending teams are jostling for positioning in the final days. Every contender has a Magic Number, which is a combination of wins and losses by other contenders within their division. In the case of Wild Card contenders, it’s a combination of their own results and losses from teams shooting for one of those two WC slots.
Which contending team will clinch a playoff spot first?
The Dodgers and White Sox are closest to clinching a playoff spot with a Magic Number of three. The Padres are next on that list, with a Magic Number of four. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, they won’t be able to clinch the NL West anytime soon, as the Padres are just 1.5 games back of them in the division.
Despite their recent struggles, the Yankees are closer to a Wild Card spot than previously expected. After a solid weekend series win, New York’s Magic Number is nine, in part thanks to the lack of competition behind them. For now, the panic in the Bronx can subside.
The Cardinals have the toughest journey to the postseason with a Magic Number of 15. This is due to their COVID-19 scare earlier this season. St. Louis has plenty of games to make up before they can considered a safe playoff pick.