SAN DIEGO — It has been a while since the Padres have been in the thick of a postseason race this late into a 162 game season. In fact, the last time the Padres made an appearance in a non-COVID shortened year was all the way back in 2006 when the team went 88-74. The team is two wins away from that win total this season.
The constant scoreboard and standings watching brings about different phrases. Perhaps the most important one for Padres fans right now is “magic number.”
So what is the Padres magic number, and how does that figure evolve as the final days of the season wind down?
What is a 'magic number?'
MLB's website breaks it down like this: "A team's magic number represents the combination of wins needed by that team and losses by its closest competitor to clinch a given goal. Every time a team wins, its magic number decreases by one. Similarly, every time that team's closest competitor for the division (or Wild Card) loses, the magic number also decreases by one."
So essentially, every time either the Padres win or the Milwaukee Brewers lose, the magic number goes down by one.
For those who want to keep track at home, the formula for calculating the magic number looks like this:
Padres games remaining - (Brewers total losses - Padres total losses)
What is the Padres magic number?
The magic number is down to zero - the San Diego Padres have made the playoffs!
The Padres didn’t need to win on Sunday against the Chicago White Sox to clinch their postseason spot. Instead, while their game was still being played, the Milwaukee Brewers lost to the Marlins in extra innings, clinching the Padres spot in the 2022 MLB playoffs.
If the Padres are the fifth seed
If the Padres end up as the fifth seed in the National League, they will go on the road and face either the Atlanta Braves or the New York Mets. Those two teams are battling it out for the top spot in the National League East. Whoever loses the National League East race will win the top wild card spot and will host the Padres in a three-game series starting on October 7. If the Padres were to win that series it would set them up for a series against their hated rivals from just up the road, the Los Angeles Dodgers who will be well rested coming off a first-round bye.
If the Padres are the sixth seed
If the Padres end up as the sixth seed in the National League, they will hit the road to Missouri to take on the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals have been a common matchup for the Padres in the postseason. The teams have played each other four of the last five times the Padres have made the postseason going back to 1996. Most recently, the Padres knocked off the Cardinals 2-1 in the playoffs for the 2020 COVID-shortened season. If the Padres keep the good times rolling during that series they would be set to face either the New York Mets or the Atlanta Braves depending on who wins the National League East race.
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