Yankees magic number, explained: New York closes in on playoffs (UPDATED)

New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Judge. (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Judge. (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports) /

Despite a recent rough patch, New York is stepping closer and closer to locking up the AL East. What is the Yankees magic number for the 2022 playoffs?

The Yankees have an MVP candidate in Aaron Judge and were one of the hottest teams in baseball in the first half of the season.

However, things have certainly slowed down for the Bronx Bombers lately after a particularly lackluster August.

The good news for New York fans is that the dip doesn’t have to define their season. The Yankees are still very much in control in the playoff picture with hopes of contending for the World Series on the table.

What is a MLB magic number?

If you don’t know what a magic number is, fear not. FanSided’s Noah Yingling explains the concept of a magic number here.

Simply put, the magic number is how many games until a particular team can clinch a playoff spot:

“For each win the team has, one number is knocked off. For each loss that their opponent in the Wild Card and/or division has, one number is also knocked off.”

What is the Yankees magic number?

The Yankees are in a good position to make the playoff but there’s still a ways to go before they can be assured of anything.

First, they have to clinch a playoff spot. Then they have to clinch the AL East.

Here’s what the magic number looks like for each:

  • Yankees magic number to win AL East: 22
  • Yankees magic number to make playoffs: 15

The weekend series with the Rays could have a huge impact on both of those numbers, positively and negatively.

Tampa Bay came into the weekend behind by just 4.5 games, making it all the more important for New York to keep their current turnaround on track. They couldn’t do that on Friday with a loss in the first game of the series.

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