The run isn’t officially over but it will soon be. While we all know that the Phillies will not present us with another Red October this season, the team is still mathematically alive. When will the Phillies finally be eliminated?
Just like we’ve watched the magic number for clinching playoff spots and divisions the last five seasons, we can do it in reverse this year.
For the Phillies to officially be eliminated from the playoffs, the magic number stands at 41.
You determine the magic number by adding one to the number of games remaining for the team in the playoff race lead. Then you subtract the difference in losses between the two teams. The remaining number is the magic number.
The Pirates currently sit in the second Wild Card spot with a 62-46 record. They have played 108 games and have 54 remaining. Add one gives you 55. The Phillies have 60 losses to the Pirates 46. The difference is 14. Take 14 away from 54 and you have 41 — the magic number for the Phillies official elimination from the playoffs.
And, for those of you who are curious, the magic number to be eliminated from the division title chase (officially) is 37.
The Nationals have played 109 games and have 53 left. Add 1 gives you 54. They have 43 losses and 60-43=17. Take 17 from 54 and you’re left with 37 — the magic number for the Phillies official loss of the NL East Champion label for the first time since 2007.