2021 MLB Postseason

MLB 2021 Postseason: Each Team's Magic Number Tracker

A team's "magic number" shows how close it is to clinching a playoff berth

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

The MLB 2021 regular season has entered its final stretch, and with it came the first teams to clinch a spot in the postseason this year.

With a win over the San Diego Padres on Sept. 13, the San Francisco Giants officially clinched a spot playing October baseball -- the team’s first playoff berth since 2016.

With a win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sept. 14, the Los Angeles Dodgers followed suit by clinching a postseason berth for a ninth straight season. The Milwaukee Brewers, Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago White Sox also clinched spots in the 2021 playoffs.

What other squads are close to securing a berth in the 2021 postseason? Let’s take a look at where each team stands in the race for a playoff spot:

What is a “magic number” in MLB?

If you’re a baseball fan, you’ve probably heard the phrase “magic number.” The term is used to explain how close a team is to winning its division or clinching a spot in the postseason.

The magic number reflects the combination of wins needed by a given team (Team A) and losses by the team’s closest competitor (Team B) to clinch. The exact formula is as follows:

Magic number = Team A's games remaining + 1 - (losses by Team B - losses by Team A)

Therefore, every time your team wins, its magic number gets smaller by one. The magic number can also decrease by one every time your team’s closest competitor (in the race to win the division or make the Wild Card Game) loses.

What is each MLB team’s magic number?

Here is a breakdown of each MLB team’s magic number for the 2021 postseason, as of the games played on Sept. 22.

National League East

Atlanta Braves - 5

Philadelphia Phillies - 10

New York Mets - ELIMINATED

Miami Marlins - ELIMINATED

Washington Nationals - ELIMINATED

National League Central

Milwaukee Brewers - CLINCHED

St. Louis Cardinals - 1

Cincinnati Reds - 13

Chicago Cubs - ELIMINATED

Pittsburgh Pirates - ELIMINATED

National League West

San Francisco Giants - CLINCHED

Los Angeles Dodgers - CLINCHED

San Diego Padres - ELIMINATED

Colorado Rockies - ELIMINATED

Arizona Diamondbacks - ELIMINATED

American League East

Tampa Bay Rays - CLINCHED

New York Yankees - 5

Boston Red Sox - 6

Toronto Blue Jays - 8

Baltimore Orioles - ELIMINATED

American League Central

Chicago White Sox - CLINCHED

Cleveland Indians - ELIMINATED

Detroit Tigers - ELIMINATED

Kansas City Royals - ELIMINATED

Minnesota Twins - ELIMINATED

American League West

Houston Astros - 2

Seattle Mariners - 9

Oakland Athletics - 10

Los Angeles Angels - ELIMINATED

Texas Rangers - ELIMINATED

When does the MLB 2021 postseason begin?

The 2021 postseason will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 5, after the regular season ends on Sunday, Oct. 3. The postseason will kick off with the American League Wild Card Game, followed by the National League Wild Card Game on Wednesday, Oct. 6.

The division series will begin on Oct. 7 and Game 1 of the 2021 World Series is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 26.

Who has the best odds to win the World Series?

The reigning World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers are favored to take the title again in 2021 with +320 odds, according to our partner, PointsBet. Behind the Dodgers sit the Houston Astros (+600), the San Francisco Giants (+700), the Tampa Bay Rays (+700), the Chicago White Sox (+700) and the Milwaukee Brewers (+700).

Editor's note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.

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