MLB Magic Number tracker: Complete playoff pictures (UPDATED Sep. 12)

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Aaron Judge, MLB, Yankees, AL MVP

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 07: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees watches his fourth inning home run against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium on September 07, 2022 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

After a weekend with multiple head-to-head matchups between playoff contenders, many of the Magic Numbers have dwindled down and one team has already secured their postseason spot.

This past weekend featured a number of head-to-head matchups between teams that will or are likely to make the MLB playoffs. The Los Angeles Dodgers saw their playoff-clinching magic number hit zero … and then bounce back up to one (due to an MLB error).

Many other teams are close to clinching a playoff berth here very soon. As of Monday, September 12, here is what the playoff picture looks like in the American League.

  • American League East: New York Yankees (+5.5 games)
  • American League Central: Cleveland Guardians (+2.5 games)
  • American League West: Houston Astros (+11.0 games)

Here is what the AL Wild Card picture looks like

  • AL Wild Card No. 1: Tampa Bay Rays (+0.5 games)
  • AL Wild Card No. 2: Seattle Mariners (+0.5 games)
  • AL Wild Card No. 3: Toronto Blue Jays

After this weekend, the teams on the outside looking in for the Wild Card have a mountain to climb to reach the Wild Card.

  • Baltimore Orioles (-5.5 games)
  • Chicago White Sox (-7.0 games)
  • Minnesota Twins (-9.0 games)

Fortunately for the White Sox and Twins, they still have a shot at winning the AL Central.

Here is the NL playoff picture.

  • National League East: New York Mets (+1.5 games)
  • National League Central: St. Louis Cardinals (+8.0 games)
  • National League West: Los Angeles Dodgers (+20.0 games)
  • NL Wild Card No. 1: Atlanta Braves (+10.5 games)
  • NL Wild Card No. 2: Philadelphia Phillies (+1.5 games)
  • NL Wild Card No. 3: San Diego Padres
  • Only remaining NL team within 9 games of the Wild Card: Milwaukee Brewers (-2.0 games)

MLB playoff picture: What is a magic number?

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. Two numbers would be knocked off if, for example, a first-place team wins and the second-place team loses.

In American League, here are the magic numbers for each team involved in the playoff hunt.

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