Cardinals magic number: Predicting when St. Louis will clinch (UPDATED)

Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

The St. Louis Cardinals are close to clinching a playoff spot, as their magic number continues to decrease by the day.

The NL Central, it would seem, belongs to St. Louis. The Milwaukee Brewers have faded into the abyss, and appear unlikely to make a serious run at the division crown, let alone the NL Wild Card.

Led by historic seasons from Adam Wainwright, Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina, these veteran Cardinals have one last run in them. Possible MVP campaigns by Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado have only bolstered their explosiveness offensively.

In terms of pitching, Wainwright has been the mainstay, while trade deadline acquisitions Jose Quintana and Jordan Montgomery have bolstered the staff. Jack Flaherty is on his way back, as well.

What is an MLB magic number?

Per FanSided’s Noah Yingling, “each MLB team has a ‘magic number’ for the playoffs. It is the number of games needed until a team clinches a playoff spot or their division. 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 Cardinals magic number?

The Cards magic number to clinch the division and a playoff spot are one and the same, in part because the Brewers are in second in the central, as well as a barometer for last spot available in the postseason.

  • Cardinals magic number to clinch NL Central: 14
  • Cardinals magic number to clinch a playoff spot: 14

When will the Cardinals clinch a playoff spot?

The Cardinals are likely to clinch a playoff spot by the middle of next week. St. Louis has a two-game set with Milwaukee, in which they can put further ground between themselves and their competition. After that, they face the lowly Reds in a rare five-game set.

Those series’ are followed by a three-game set against the Padres, which is what I’m tabbing as a likely time to clinch. Let’s say next Wednesday or so.

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