This is the Cubs' magic number for an MLB playoff berth

This is the Cubs' magic number for an MLB playoff berth originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Chicago Cubs have only qualified once for the playoffs since 2018, but they’re hoping to reverse that trend as the season winds down.

Currently, the Cubs are 78-69 on the season, and while they do trail the Milwaukee Brewers by 4.5 games in the National League Central, they do control their own destiny in the wild card race, with a 2.5-game lead over the San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks and Cincinnati Reds.

Here are the standings as we enter play on Friday:

Phillies — 79-67

Cubs — 78-69

Giants — 75-71

Diamondbacks — 76-72

Reds — 76-72

Marlins — 75-72 (0.5 GB)

So what is the Cubs’ “magic number” to reach the playoffs?

Simply put, the “magic number” illustrates the number of victories a team needs, combined with the number of losses by an opponent chasing them in the standings, to clinch a playoff berth.

Applying the formula provided by MLB, the Cubs’ current magic number to clinch at least a wild card berth currently stands at 13.

The Cubs will have to be sure to finish ahead of the Reds in the standings as well. Cincinnati will hold the tiebreaker over the Cubs at the end of the season, having won seven of the 13 games the two clubs played during the regular season.

The Cubs will also lose tiebreakers to the Phillies and Marlins, and must sweep the Diamondbacks on the road this weekend to avoid losing that tiebreaker, too. They do, however, own a tiebreaker with the Giants.

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