The MLB 2021 regular season has entered its final stretch, and with it came the first teams to clinch a spot in the postseason this year.
With a win over the San Diego Padres on Monday, the San Francisco Giants officially clinched a spot playing October baseball -- the team’s first playoff berth since 2016.
With a win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Dodgers followed suit by clinching a postseason berth for a ninth straight season.
What other squads are close to clinching a spot in the 2021 postseason? Let’s take a look at where each team stands in the race for a playoff spot:
In partnership with NBC Sports Philadelphia
What is a “magic number” in MLB?
If you’re a baseball fan, you’ve probably heard the phrase “magic number.” The term is used to explain how close a team is to winning its division or clinching a spot in the postseason.
The magic number reflects the combination of wins needed by a given team (Team A) and losses by the team’s closest competitor (Team B) to clinch. The exact formula is as follows:
Magic number = Team A's games remaining + 1 - (losses by Team B - losses by Team A)
Therefore, every time your team wins, its magic number gets smaller by one. The magic number can also decrease by one every time your team’s closest competitor (in the race to win the division or make the Wild Card Game) loses.
What is each MLB team’s magic number?
Here is a breakdown of each MLB team’s magic number for the 2021 postseason, as of the games played on Sept. 16.
National League East
Atlanta Braves - 15
Philadelphia Phillies - 20
New York Mets - 22
Miami Marlins - 32
Washington Nationals - 34
National League Central
Milwaukee Brewers - 4
St. Louis Cardinals - 17
Cincinnati Reds - 18
Chicago Cubs - 28
Pittsburgh Pirates - ELIMINATED
National League West
San Francisco Giants - CLINCHED
Los Angeles Dodgers - CLINCHED
San Diego Padres - 18
Colorado Rockies - 26
Arizona Diamondbacks - ELIMINATED
American League East
Tampa Bay Rays - 7
Boston Red Sox - 15
Toronto Blue Jays - 16
New York Yankees - 16
Baltimore Orioles - ELIMINATED
American League Central
Chicago White Sox - 7
Cleveland Indians - 27
Detroit Tigers - 28
Kansas City Royals - 33
Minnesota Twins - ELIMINATED
American League West
Houston Astros - 10
Oakland Athletics - 19
Seattle Mariners - 20
Los Angeles Angels - 26
Texas Rangers - ELIMINATED
When does the MLB 2021 postseason begin?
The 2021 postseason will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 5, after the regular season ends on Sunday, Oct. 3. The postseason will kick off with the American League Wild Card Game, followed by the National League Wild Card Game on Wednesday, Oct. 6.
The division series will begin on Oct. 7 and Game 1 of the 2021 World Series is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 26.
Who has the best odds to win the World Series?
The reigning World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers are favored to take the title again in 2021 with +300 odds, according to our partner, PointsBet. Behind the Dodgers sit the Houston Astros with +500 odds and the Tampa Bay Rays, Milwaukee Brewers and San Francisco Giants with +600 odds.
Editor's note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.