Calculate your favorite baseball team’s Magic Number

by admin on September 9, 2011

Detroit Tigers Magic Number

This time of year if you’re lucky enough to have your favorite baseball team in the thick of the playoff chase you will hear a lot about magic numbers. So what the heck is a magic number, you ask?

The easy answer is this – it’s merely the number of games your team needs to win in order to win their division.

Every time your team wins a game, the number decreases by one. When the second place team loses, the number again goes down by one. If your team is like the Tigers this week and your team plays the second place team and wins – the number goes down by 2 games.

Well that’s great, but how do you calculate this magic number?

The most recognized method, endorsed by Major League Baseball is to take the number of games remaining for the division leaders, add 1, then subtract the difference in the number of losses between the leaders and the second place team. In other words:

Magic Number = Games Remaining + 1 – ( 2nd Place Team Losses – 1st Place Team Loses)
Magic Number = 19 + 1 – (70-62)
Magic Number = 12

There you go! 🙂

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