MLB Clinched Playoff Berth Explained

Clinched playoff berth means securing a spot in the MLB postseason games. Teams can get this spot by either winning their division or by getting the wild card position.

To clinch means a team has done well in the regular games and has earned a place in the special postseason matches. This is the beginning of a team’s journey to possibly reach the World Series.

Once a team wins a division or gets the wild card spot, they then compete in more championships. The top teams from both the American League and National League then get to play in the World Series each year.

The term “magic number” is used to help figure out how close a team is to clinched playoff spot. This number is about how many games a team needs to win to be at the top of their division.

A smaller magic number means a team has a better chance to clinch. This number goes down by one each time the team wins or when their main competition loses.

The magic number becomes zero when a team is at the top of their division or gets the wild card position. If a team doesn’t do well in their division, trying for the wild card spot is their next best chance.

Teams That Have Clinched Playoff Berth In MLB 2023

The Orioles, Astros, Twins, Rays, Braves, Dodgers, Brewers, and Phillies have secured their places in the MLB playoffs as of September 5, 2023.

The Mariners, Blue Jays, Cubs, and Reds have the potential to join the playoffs via the Wild Card spots. So, in total, 12 teams have the possibility of entering the playoffs: six from division wins and six from the Wild Card.

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It’s almost clear which teams will make the playoffs as the regular season’s end is near. For a sure spot, these teams need to keep up their current performance and rankings.

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In MLB, “clinching a wild card” means a team has gotten into the postseason by securing a Wild Card rank. Each league has three available Wild Card spots.

The top three teams in each league, based on their season’s wins and losses, are the division champions. The next three top teams, excluding the division champs, also make it based on their season records.

The highest two ranked teams get a direct entry into the Division Series. Meanwhile, others play in the Wild Card series: the third-ranked team faces the sixth, and the fourth takes on the fifth for ALWC and NLWC spots.

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A team’s likelihood of making the playoffs is determined by a ‘magic number.’ Teams with the lowest magic numbers have the best chance to get into the postseason.

As of 7 September 2023, the following MLB teams have secured their spots in the playoffs due to their performance records.

American League Positions:

  • Baltimore Orioles: 1st AL East (Magic 22).
  • Minnesota Twins: 1st AL Central (Magic 17).
  • Houston Astros: 1st AL West (Magic 24).
  • Tampa Bay Rays: 4th Wild Card (Magic 19).
  • Seattle Mariners: 5th Wild Card (Magic 24).
  • Toronto Blue Jays: 6th Wild Card (Magic 24).

National League Positions:

  • Atlanta Braves: 1st NL East (Magic 12).
  • Los Angeles Dodgers: 1st NL West (Magic 12).
  • Milwaukee Brewers: 1st NL Central (Magic 22).
  • Philadelphia Phillies: 4th Wild Card (Magic 23).
  • Chicago Cubs: 5th Wild Card (Magic 21).
  • Cincinnati Reds: 6th Wild Card (Magic 23).

The MLB regular season’s rankings can still shift. Some teams might replace the current Wild Card format standings.

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The Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox are closely following the Blue Jays in the race for the American League’s 6th Wild Card spot. In the National League, the Miami Marlins and Arizona Diamondbacks are just behind the Reds for the same spot.

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The Rangers are just one win behind the Blue Jays, having the same number of losses. The Red Sox are also in the race and need just 6 more wins to secure the 4th ALWC position.

In the National League, both the Marlins and Diamondbacks have 71 wins, only two less than the Reds. The Marlins are slightly ahead because they’ve lost fewer games than the Diamondbacks.

Los Angeles Dodgers Magic Number To Clinch Division 2023

In 2023, the LA Dodgers are close to sealing their place in the playoffs. With a strong lead in the National League West Division, they have a record of 84 wins and 53 losses.

Their win rate stands impressively at .613. By 6 September 2023, they have 25 more games to play.

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To clinched playoff spot in the 2023, they need just 17 more victories. Given their performance so far, it’s likely they’ll hold onto their top spot.

Have The Yankees Clinched Playoff Spot?

The Yankees haven’t secured a place in the playoffs this year. They are at the bottom of the AL East Division with a win-loss record of 69-69 as of September 6, 2023.

With 24 games left this season, they need a magic number of 30 to get a wild card spot. This means they might miss the postseason for the seventh year in a row.

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Back in 2016, they missed the playoffs and were fourth in their division. That year, they had a win percentage of .519, with 84 wins and 78 losses.

From 2017 to 2022, they managed to finish at least second in their division. But this year, 2023, hasn’t been good. Their win percentage is just .500.

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They’ve won and lost 69 games each, with only 24 games left. Given the magic number is 30, it seems they might not make the playoffs this year.

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