Magic Numbers 2012Since we are in mid-August, it's premature to seriously assign meaning to magic numbers around Major League Baseball. There's far too much baseball left to play in the regular season. For the sake of this blog, we'll jump into those waters anyway. Right now, we're only looking at the divisional races. Not the wild card standings yet.
At the moment, teams are sitting atop their respective divisions with magic numbers in the upper-30s and low-40s. Both the New York Yankees (AL East) and the Cincinnati Reds entered play this evening with magic numbers of 39. For the Yankees, that numbers will drop with any combination of Yankees wins and Baltimore Orioles/Tampa Bay Rays losses. For the Reds, that number will drop with any combination of Reds wins and Pittsburgh Pirates losses. Yes, the Pirates are still in the pennant race in August. That makes two consecutive seasons.
The team closest to packing their bags and shipping out for the winter is the Houston Astros. With only 39 wins this season, they are buried in the NL Central sitting 32 1/2 games out of first place. They are on the verge of becoming National League doormats before making the move to the American League in 2013. Any total of Reds wins and Astros losses totaling 12 will bring the Astros' season to an end.
Here are the current division leaders and their magic numbers:
New York Yankees (AL East): 39
Chicago White Sox (AL Central): 43
Texas Rangers (AL West): 40
Washington Nationals (NL East): 41
Cincinnati Reds (NL Central): 39
Los Angeles Dodgers (NL West): 44