Postseason baseball is in the air, but the Astros need to take care of a few things to clinch a spot.
With twelve games left to play, the Houston Astros are (94-56) and maintain a four-game lead in the A.L. West over the (90-60) Oakland Athletics who also have a dozen left to play. The Athletics were idle last night as the Astros had a chance to extend the division lead to a full five games, but a late grand slam given up by Hector Rondon and only one run on the board through 8 innings would be the deciding factor.
The Astros are still poised to take the division and secure a playoff spot but let’s look at some magic numbers you need to know. Keep track of these magic numbers, here.
Magic Number: Two
Magic Number Two is the number of games or (83-66) Tampa Bay Rays losses to clinch a playoff spot since the Rays are vying for a wildcard spot. Any combination of Houston wins or Tampa Bay losses that total two will clinch a playoff spot for the Astros
Magic Number: Eight
Monday night was a perfect opportunity to bring this number down to eight with the Athletics taking the night off. They lost but won last night. But eight is the magic number to clinch the A.L. West division. Any combination or Astros win and/or Athletics losses that total eight will clinch the A.L. West crown for the second straight year for Houston.
Magic Numbers: Six, Seven, and Eight
The Astros finished the season 101-61 last year. 23rd time last year the ‘Stros were (92-58). They are two games better this year and projected to finish (102-60) according to FiveThirtyEight.
Six is the number of wins needed to tie last year’s 101-61 record. Seven is the number of wins needed to surpass last season win total and match their all-time win total which was set back in 1998. And eight is the number of Astros wins needed to set a new record for franchise wins at 103.
If the season ended today hypothetical
As it stands, if the season ended today, the Boston Red Sox, Houston Astro, and Cleveland Indians are the division winners leaving the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics to play in the wild-card game. There are still many scenarios to decide and too many teams left on the bubble with a dozen games left to play. We will revisit this in a week or so. For complete standing and Wild Card standings, click here.
Mark your calendars
The National League Wild Card Game is slated for October 2nd on ESPN.
The American League Wild Card Game is on October 3rd on TBS.
NLDS begins on October 4th
ALDS begins on October 5th.
NLCS starts on October 12th
ALCS starts on October 13th.
World Series is slated for Tuesday, October 23rd – 31st
October baseball is almost here. Hang in there Astros Fans!
****Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference, FanGraphs, Five Thirty-Eight and MLB.com ***