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MLB standings 2021: Updated playoff bracket, magic numbers as of Sept. 25

The 2021 MLB season is rapidly winding down, and as it nears its finish several postseason races have drawn most of the focus.

All but two divisional races are locked up. The Braves surged into first place in August and are holding onto the top spot early in September with the Phillies not too far behind them. The Giants have quietly been the best team in baseball for most of the season, yet find themselves holding off an incredibly talented Dodgers squad in the NL West.

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Both races for the wild card look to be fights to the finish. In the American League, the Red Sox and Yankees entered September clinging to the top two spots but have faced pressure from the Blue Jays, Mariners and Athletics. The team that finishes second in the NL West will be the first wild card, but the second spot is still open as the Phillies and Reds chase the streaking Cardinals.

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The Sporting News is tracking the MLB standings as the season wraps up. Here’s all you need to know heading into the final stretch of the campaign.

MLB standings 2021

American League playoff bracket

Standings updated after games played on Saturday, Sept. 25

Seed Team Division Record Percentage
1 Rays East 96-59 .619
2 Astros West 91-64 .587
3 White Sox Central 87-68 .561
4 (WC) Red Sox East 88-67 .568
5 (WC) Yankees East 88-67 .568

American League wild-card standings

  • WC1: Red Sox, 88-67 (.568)
  • WC2: Yankees, 88-67 (.568)

— 

  • Blue Jays, 86-69 (.555), 2 GB
  • Mariners, 85-70 (.548), 2 GB
  • Athletics, 84-71 (.542), 4 GB
  • Indians, 76-78 (.494), ELIMINATED
  • Tigers, 75-79 (.487), ELIMINATED
  • Angels, 74-81 (.477), ELIMINATED
  • Royals, 70-84 (.455), ELIMINATED
  • Twins, 69-86 (.445), ELIMINATED
  • Rangers, 56-99 (.361), ELIMINATED
  • Orioles, 50-105 (.323), ELIMINATED

National League playoff bracket

Standings updated after games played on Saturday, Sept. 25

Seed Team Division Record Percentage
1 Giants West 101-54 .652
2 Brewers Central 93-62 .600
3 Braves East 82-72 .532
4 (WC) Dodgers West 99-56 .639
5 (WC) Cardinals Central 86-69 .555

National League wild card standings

  • WC1: Dodgers, 99-56 (.639)
  • WC2: Cardinals, 86-69 (.555)

  • Phillies, 81-74 (.523), 5 GB
  • Reds, 80-75 (.516), 6 GB
  • Padres, 78-77 (.503), ELIMINATED
  • Mets, 73-81 (.474), ELIMINATED
  • Rockies, 71-83 (.461), ELIMINATED
  • Cubs, 67-88 (.432), ELIMINATED
  • Marlins, 64-90 (.416), ELIMINATED
  • Nationals, 64-91 (.413), ELIMINATED
  • Pirates, 57-97 (.370), ELIMINATED
  • Diamondbacks, 50-105 (.323), ELIMINATED

MLB magic numbers for 2021

This is the part where fans of teams in playoff spots — or those just outside — really start to get out the calculators. The magic number is the combination of a team’s wins and/or losses by its closest competitor needed to clinch a playoff spot.

The magic number is listed for each team leading the division to claim the title, and the elimination number listed for teams trailing in the division. The same information is provided for those in the chase for the wild card. Info comes from MLB.com.

Updated after games on Saturday, Sept. 25

AL East

Rays, CLINCHED DIVISION

Red Sox, x/x

Yankees, x/x

Blue Jays, x/x

Orioles, x/x

AL Central

White Sox, CLINCHED DIVISION

Indians, x/x

Tigers, x/x

Royals, x/x

Twins, x/x

AL West

Astros, 2/x

Mariners, x/2

Athletics, x/1

Angels, x/x

Rangers, x/x

AL wild card

Red Sox, 6/x

Yankees, 6/x

Blue Jays, x/6

Mariners, x/5

Athletics, x/4

Indians, x/x

Tigers, x/x

Angels, x/x

Royals, x/x

Twins, x/x

Rangers, x/x

Orioles, x/x

NL East

Braves, 7/x

Phillies, x/7

Mets, x/x

Marlins, x/x

Nationals, x/x

NL Central

Brewers, 1/CLINCHED PLAYOFFS

Cardinals, x/1

Reds, x/x

Cubs, x/x

Pirates, x/x

NL West

Giants, 6/CLINCHED PLAYOFFS

Dodgers, x/6, CLINCHED PLAYOFFS

Padres, x/x

Rockies, x/x

Diamondbacks, x/x

NL wild card

Dodgers, CLINCHED PLAYOFFS

Cardinals, 3/x

Phillies, x/3

Reds, x/2

Padres, x/x

Mets, x/x

Rockies, x/x

Cubs, x/x

Marlins, x/x

Nationals, x/x

Pirates, x/x

Diamondbacks, x/x

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