Here’s how to figure out the Cubs’ Magic Number
CHICAGO — For a second-straight season, the Chicago Cubs have a little magic on their minds thanks to their strong play in August.
Twenty-one wins in the month of August has vaulted the North Siders to a big lead in the National League Central and have made it a question of when, not if, they will capture their first division crown since 2008.
The countdown has begun for Cubs fans in the form of a descending number, better known as “The Magic Number.”
What is it? It’s a combination of the wins by the Cubs and the losses needed by the second place team (right now the Cardinals) to clinch the division. After a victory over the Pirates last night reduced the number to 18 but the Cardinals kept it there with a victory over the Brewers in Milwaukee.
So how is the magic number derived? Here are two simple ways to do it.
- Take the number of games remaining in the season and add 1 to that number.
- Subtract the number of games the Cubs are ahead in the loss column.
Here is another method to determining the magic number.
- Take the number of games in a season (162) and add 1
- Subtract the amount of victories by the Cubs
- Subtract the number of losses by the second place team (currently the Cardinals)
At the moment, the team is on track to clinch the division around mid-September. Below are some recent dates when the Cubs clinched division championships since their introduction in 1969.
1984 – September 24th at Pirates
1989 – September 26th at Expos
2003 – September 27th vs Pirates
2007 – September 28th at Reds
2008 – September 20th vs Cardinals