Entering Oct. 3, the Milwaukee Brewers are 2 games back of the Philadelphia Phillies for the final National League playoff spot. Because the Phillies have the tiebreaker, it's really 3 back.
Let's put it this way. The only way the Brewers get into the playoffs is if they win their final three games against the Diamondbacks and the Phillies lose all three of theirs in Houston.
Yeah, it's a longshot. The Brewers will almost certainly miss the playoffs for the first time since 2017.
Standings (through Oct. 2)
NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
St. Louis 92-67 (clinched division)
NATIONAL LEAGUE WILD CARD
(three teams earn playoff berths)
New York 98-60 (clinched at least top wild card, clinched better record than Brewers)
San Diego 87-71 (1½ games ahead of Phillies, clinched better record than Brewers)
Philadelphia 86-73 (2 ahead of Brewers)
Milwaukee Brewers (84-75)
Games behind third wild card: 2
Games remaining against winning teams: 0
Games remaining on road: 0
Games remaining at home: 3
3 vs. Arizona (73-84)
What is the Brewers magic number to clinch a playoff spot?
Technically, they don't have one; magic numbers apply to the team that's in the lead. The Brewers are not. But in the same vein, the Brewers need 6 outcomes to go correctly in their battle with the Phillies (Brewers wins or Phillies losses) to bypass them for a playoff spot.
What is the Brewers' elimination number?
Officially, it's 2. But given that the Brewers don't have the tiebreaker with Philadelphia, the team only has to tie Milwaukee and not finish with an outright better record, so the elimination number is really 1.
Do the Brewers own the tiebreaker against Philadelphia?
The Brewers do not have a tiebreaker and, with no Game 163 anymore, would miss the playoffs if it came down to a tied record for the final playoff spot.
The Brewers lost the tiebreaker on account of head-to-head season series, 4-2.
What are the Brewers' playoff chances?
Fangraphs gives the Brewers a 4.1% chance of making the playoffs (through Oct. 2).
Philadelphia Phillies (86-73)
Games behind Padres for second wild card: 1½ (pending San Diego's game Sunday)
Games ahead of Brewers: 2
Games remaining against winning teams: 3
Games remaining on road: 3
Games remaining at home: 0
The Phillies finish with a tough schedule but...
The Phillies theoretically have a tough finish to the season with all remaining games on the road, closing with three against American League West heavyweight Houston, though the team with the best record in the AL probably won't need to go all out at season's end.
3 at Houston (103-55)
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Brewers, Phillies vie for NL wild card spot; what are playoff chances?