MLB standings: Magic numbers, playoff picture as of Sept. 25

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As the MLB season winds down, the pennant races are heating up and teams are making their final attempts to sneak into the playoffs.

Pundits and analysts alike are beginning to throw around the term “magic number,” which is the combined number of wins by the leading team and the losses by the trailing team that determines when the trailing team is eliminated from playoff contention. 

Here’s a look at the magic numbers for each MLB divisional race entering play Tuesday, Sept. 25:

MLB standings: Magic numbers, playoff picture

AL East

First-place team: Red Sox (clinched division)

Magic number to eliminate:  
2. Yankees (Eliminated; clinched wild card)
3. Rays (Eliminated)
4. Blue Jays (Eliminated)
5. Orioles (Eliminated)

AL Central

First-place team: Indians (clinched division)

Magic number to eliminate: 
2. Twins (Eliminated)
3. Tigers (Eliminated)
4. White Sox (Eliminated)
5. Royals (Eliminated)

AL West

First-place team: Astros (clinched playoff berth)

Magic number to eliminate: 
2. Athletics (2; clinched playoff berth)
3. Mariners (Eliminated)
4. Angels (Eliminated)
5. Rangers (Eliminated)

AL wild cards

1. Yankees
2. Athletics

NL East

First-place team: Braves (clinched division)

Magic number to eliminate: 
2. Phillies (Eliminated)
3. Nationals (Eliminated)
4. Mets (Eliminated)

5. Marlins (Eliminated)

NL Central

First-place team: Cubs

Magic number to eliminate: 
2. Brewers (5)
3. Cardinals (2)
4. Pirates (Eliminated)
5. Reds (Eliminated)

NL West

First-place team: Dodgers

Magic number to eliminate: 
2. Rockies (5)
3. Diamondbacks (Eliminated)
4. Giants (Eliminated)
5. Padres (Eliminated)

NL wild cards

1. Brewers
2. Cardinals

NL playoff odds

National League projections are courtesy of AccuScore.com. All records and odds are through Sept. 23.

NL Central

Team Record Projected record Division odds (%) Playoff odds (%)
Cubs 91-64 96-66 97.18 100
Brewers 89-67 92-70 2.65 99.38
Cardinals 87-69 90-72 0.17 71.93
Pirates 78-76 82-80 0 0
Reds 66-91 69-93 0 0

NL East

Team Record Projected record Division odds (%) Playoff odds (%)
Braves 88-68 91-71 100 100
Nationals 78-78 82-80 0 0
Phillies 78-77 81-81 0 0
Mets 73-83 77-85 0 0
Marlins 62-93 64-98 0 0

NL West

Team Record Projected record Division odds (%) Playoff odds (%)
Dodgers 87-69 91-71 92.3 96.19
Rockies 85-70 89-73 7.7 32.36
Diamondbacks 79-77 82-80 0 0
Giants 72-84 75-87 0 0
Padres 62-94 65-97 0 0