The MLB postseason is just around the corner, but how close is every contender to clinching?
A Magic Number is a combination of wins needed by one team and/or losses by their direct competition before they can clinch either the division, wild card, or playoff spot. Here’s what we know:
The Oakland Athletics have clinched the AL West, so they don’t have any remaining magic numbers.
The Tampa Bay Rays can clinch the AL East with a win tonight. Their magic number is 1. The New York Yankees are 4.5 games behind.
The Chicago White Sox magic number to clinch the AL Central is 4. The Minnesota Twins are 1.5 games behind.
The Atlanta Braves can clinch the NL East win a win tonight. Their magic number is 1. The Miami Marlins are 4 games behind.
The Chicago Cubs magic number to clinch the NL Central is 4. Their magic number for a playoff spot is 1. The St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds are 4.5 games behind.
The Los Angeles Dodgers magic number to clinch the NL West is 1. The San Diego Padres are 4 games behind.
Clinching one’s division doesn’t hold the same importance in 2020, as the expanded postseason field offers more chances for second and even third-place teams to play spoiler. However, higher seeding and division banners always play a role in a sport predicated on records and team accomplishments. Embrace it, even in a COVID-19 shortened season.