MLB Magic Numbers and Elimination Numbers Entering Friday's Competition

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Aug 23, 2013 03:10 PM EDT
MLB Elimination Numbers: Houston Astros
Houston Astros Jason Castro walks back to the dugout in front of Toronto Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia after striking out in the ninth inning of their American League MLB baseball game in Toronto July 25, 2013. REUTERS/Fred Thornhill"

Since Wednesday, MLB standings feature what everybody waits for in sports, the magic numbers and elimination numbers. The 2013 MLB regular season has its days counted. The season concludes at the end of September and August is almost over. Here are some magic numbers and elimination numbers to keep in mind as the last full weekend of baseball in the month of August is just hours away from taking off. 

Houston Astros: Elimination #4
There is no magic in Houston. The Astros came into 2013 not expecting to compete . It's what they call a rebuilding season. Who knows where they will be in a few years, but in October, the Astros will be vacationing and preparing for the 2014 season. Four losses or four Texas Rangers win will officially put the Astros' season to rest.

Miami Marlins: Elimination #8
Writing about the Marlins and the Astros in 2013 means writing about the same thing. Young players, some bright lights, but a lot of losing. Both teams are rebuilding and as a result, with over a month of baseball left in the season, they are in single digits in the elimination number category.  

Chicago White Sox: Elimination #15
The White Sox are winners of six straight games! That's great, but it's too little too late in Chi Town. Sitting in last place and 19 games from first, the White Sox can only play spoiler the remainder of the season. They have one of the game's best pitchers, Chris Sale, and they have a great blend of young and veteran players.

Toronto Blue Jays: Elimination #17 
True disappointment for the Blue Jays. They are treading water, but their season is practically over. They were swept by the New York Yankees in a series that could have given them hope. A team that entered the season with a ton of hope saw their super blockbuster deal take them nowhere in the standings, let alone help them play October baseball.

San Francisco Giants: Elimination #17
Okay, so if the Blue Jays didn't make the playoffs after 20 years of the same story, what do the fans of the defending World Series champions feel when their team can't get out of last place. Their pitching has been, let's keep it honest, trash in 2013. There is not much Buster Posey and an injured Pablo Sandoval can do to save a team who has terrible pitching. 

Now, this bunch is about the guys who are on the brink of clinching. However, a lot of winning will have to occur in order to accelerate the process. Otherwise, patience is required. 

Pittsburgh Pirates: Magic #35
Yeah, magic is almost an overstatement since there is nothing special the number. The Pirates are only leading the division by one game and there is way too much baseball remaining for them to begin celebrating.

Texas Rangers: Magic #34
Same story that applies to the Pirates, applies to the Rangers. There's way too much baseball to begin celebrating, especially as the Rangers only lead by 2.5 games. Remember the 2012 season?

Detroit Tigers: Magic #31
The Tigers are almost in the 20's, but they have to start winning again as the Cleveland Indians are gunning after them. The Tigers lead by five games in the standings, but once again, October will seem like it's light years.

Here's the beauty of the dichotomy between the magic number and elimination number; while September couldn't come sooner for the teams losing, September will seem like the longest month in baseball for teams trying to clinch the division. 

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