Your MLB Magic Numbers

The Yankees lost Monday night to the Angels -- the fourth time in as many games the Bronx Bombers have lost to the Halos this season in Anaheim -- which postpones the Yankees’ anti-climactic champagne bath for making the playoffs for at least one more day. The Yankees are just five games ahead of Boston, but find themselves 11 games ahead of Texas in the loss column, with 11 games to play, which will guarantee at least the Wild Card. ↵

↵It’s somewhat remarkable that most teams have just a dozen games remaining in the marathon that is the Major League Baseball season. The A-Rod steroid press conference was at the start of this season ... in February. We’re finally just a few weeks away from the playoffs, so here are your magic numbers, by division. ↵

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↵AL East:The Yankees are five games up on the Sox, four in the loss column, with the Sox having two additional games left to play. While the Yanks can make the playoffs with a win or Texas loss tonight, it’ll be at a while before they break out the good stuff. Boston is seven games up on Texas, the only team with a real chance to make a run at the Wild Card outside of the Sox. Boston is also 8-2 in their last 10 games to 4-6 for the Yankees. The Yankees have two more games against a rock-solid Angels team, then three at home against the Sox before finishing the season with the Royals and Tampa. Both teams will make the playoffs, but the division isn’t over yet. ↵

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↵AL Central:Clearly, the AL Central is the worst division in baseball, with a to-date average win total of 70.4 wins per team. Detroit leads the division with 79 wins in 149 games for the lowest win percentage of any division leader. In fact, Detroit would be in third place in either the AL East or West and would be in fourth place in the NL East or West. ↵

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↵Minnesota is only 2.5 games back, three in the loss column, and the teams still have a three-game set at Detroit that could decide who’s the best of the worst. Obviously, the winner of this division is going to the World Series. ↵

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↵AL West:The Angels and Dodgers both have 90 wins, so get ready for the talk to start about an all "LA" World Series. That thought could gain momentum if the Angels keep beating the Yankees. LAA is 7.5 up on Texas, seven in the loss column, with 12 to play, making the magic number six games. Do they still have the Rally Monkey in LAnaheim? I loved that darn monkey. ↵

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↵NL East:The Phillies are eight games up on both Atlanta and Florida, nine in the loss column, after taking two of three from the Braves over the weekend. The Phils have three against Florida, starting with a doubleheader this afternoon that could put the nail in the division, or make things very interesting as the Phils host the Fish to end the season. Right now, the magic number for the World Champs is six games. ↵

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↵NL Central:The Cardinals seemed like the best team in the National League for a few weeks, but they have sputtered a bit lately. That said, they are still 10 games ahead of second-place Chicago, 11 in the loss column, with 11 to play. Despite having the fourth most wins of any division leader, the Cardinals have the smallest magic number of any team at three. ↵

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↵NL West:Remember earlier in the year when that whole Manny Ramirez thing happened? What was it again ... oh yes, steroids. Wow, that destroyed the clubhouse, didn’t it? The Dodgers have 90 wins -- the most in the National League -- and stand five up on Colorado in the loss column. The Dodgers have nine road games with Washington, Pittsburgh and San Diego before ending the season with three at home against Colorado. With that schedule, the magic number of eight may as well be zero. There’s no way the Dodgers won’t win the division. ↵

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↵All may not be lost for the Rockies, who are four games up on San Francisco for the Wild Card with 12 to play. That said, six of those Rox games are against the Dodgers and Cardinals, while San Francisco gets Arizona, Chicago and San Diego. ↵

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↵So it looks like two races could go to the last weekend, with the NL Wild Card and AL Central still up for grabs. For the rest of us with regular season tickets on the last week of the season, prepare for some uninspired scrub time. But hey, we’ll take it for a seat at the playoffs, right? ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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