Cardinals magic number, explained: St. Louis closes in on playoffs (UPDATED)

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The St. Louis Cardinals are closing in on a playoff spot, as the Milwaukee Brewers fade in the NL Wild Card chase. But just when should we expect the Cards to clinch?

A magical Cardinals season is expected to end in the postseason appearance — and hopefully in World Series glory if baseball fans in St. Louis have their way. Trade deadline acquisitions Jordan Montgomery and Jose Quintana have improved what looked to be a major weakness in the rotation, and Jack Flaherty just returned from injury.

The Cards lineup features two NL MVP candidates in Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt. An Albert Pujols power revival only added to their playoff potential, while Yadier Molina remains a mainstay behind the plate.

What is a MLB magic number?

The following, per FanSided’s Noah Yingling, explains a magic number perfectly:

“Each MLB team has a “magic number” for the playoffs. It is the number of games needed until a team clinches a playoff spot or their division. For each win the team has, one number is knocked off. For each loss that their opponent in the Wild Card and/or division has, one number is also knocked off.”

What is the Cardinals magic number?

The Cardinals have two magic numbers — one to reach the playoffs, and another to win the NL Central. Any combination of wins by St. Louis and losses by their competition for these spots and decrease that magic number. The closer the Cardinals are to zero, the better.

  • Cardinals magic number to win NL Central: 17
  • Cardinals magic number to make playoffs: 17

At this point, it would take an unfortunate turn for the Cards to miss out on the postseason in 2022. Their substantial lead on the second-place Brewers, as well as other competition, makes it likely they’ll win the NL Central in the coming weeks.

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