MLB Magic Numbers: Each Team’s Path to the 2020 Postseason


With a little over a week remaining in the regular season, the MLB playoffs are fast approaching. Three teams have already secured a seat at the table including the Dodgers—owners of MLB’s best record at a sparkling 36-15 (.706 winning percentage)—who are headed to the playoffs for a franchise-best eighth straight season. The White Sox (making their first postseason trip since 2008) and Rays join the Dodgers among this year’s early October qualifiers.

Usually the playoff chase is whittled down to only a handful of contenders by now, but with MLB choosing to expand its postseason field to 16 this year, the final week of 2020 promises to be even more chaotic than usual with many surprise clubs—the upstart Marlins and Blue Jays among them—still showing a pulse. How close—or far away—is your favorite team to making the 2020 postseason? Listed below is each team’s updated Magic Number, courtesy of Twitter account MLB Magic Numbers (@MLBMagNum). For those needing a refresher, a “Magic Number” represents the combined number of wins and losses by a club’s closest competitor needed to make the postseason.

Magic Number for Clinching Division (Games Through September 17)

AL East
Tampa Bay Rays 6
New York Yankees 14
Toronto Blue Jays 17
Baltimore Orioles
Boston Red Sox

AL Central
Chicago White Sox 6
Minnesota Twins 13
Cleveland Indians 17
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals

AL West
Oakland Athletics 4
Houston Astros 17
Seattle Mariners 20
Los Angeles Angels
Texas Rangers

NL East
Atlanta Braves 9
Miami Marlins 15
Philadelphia Phillies 16
New York Mets 17
Washington Nationals 22

NL Central
Chicago Cubs 7
Cincinnati Reds 16
Milwaukee Brewers 18
St. Louis Cardinals 19
Pittsburgh Pirates

NL West
Los Angeles Dodgers 5
San Diego Padres 14
San Francisco Giants
Colorado Rockies
Arizona Diamondbacks

Magic Number for Clinching Playoff Spot (Games Through September 17)

AL East
*Tampa Bay Rays
New York Yankees 4
Toronto Blue Jays 7
Baltimore Orioles 16
Boston Red Sox 19

AL Central
*Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins 2
Cleveland Indians 6
Detroit Tigers 17
Kansas City Royals 17

AL West
Oakland Athletics 2
Houston Astros 7
Seattle Mariners 14
Los Angeles Angels 14
Texas Rangers 18

NL East
Atlanta Braves 6
Miami Marlins 10
Philadelphia Phillies 11
New York Mets 13
Washington Nationals 18

NL Central
Chicago Cubs 4
Cincinnati Reds 11
Milwaukee Brewers 13
St. Louis Cardinals 13
Pittsburgh Pirates 21

NL West
*Los Angeles Dodgers
San Diego Padres 3
San Francisco Giants 10
Colorado Rockies 14
Arizona Diamondbacks 17

*Already clinched playoff spot

These would be the first-round matchups if the playoffs started today (via Lewisville Sluggers Podcast on Twitter):

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