MLB standings 2021: Updated playoff bracket, magic numbers as of Sept. 16


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 appear locked up. The Braves surged into first place in August and are holding to the top spot early in September with the Phillies and Mets 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.

Both the 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 is all but guaranteed to wrap up the first wild card, but the second spot is wide open as the Reds, Padres, Phillies, Cardinals and Mets are all within striking distance of one another.

MORE: AL, NL Rookie of the Year races are still wide open

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 Thursday, Sept. 16

Seed Team Division Record Percentage
1 Rays East 91-56 .619
2 Astros West 86-60 .589
3 White Sox Central 83-63 .568
4 (WC) Blue Jays East 82-64 .562
5 (WC) Red Sox East 83-65 .558

American League wild-card standings

  • T-WC1: Blue Jays, 82-64 (.562)
  • T-WC1: Red Sox, 83-65 (.561)


  • Yankees, 82-65 (.558), 0.5
  • Athletics, 79-67 (.541), 3 GB
  • Mariners, 78-68 (.534), 4 GB
  • Angels, 72-74 (.493), 10 GB
  • Indians, 71-73 (.493), 10 GB
  • Tigers, 70-77 (.476), 12.5 GB
  • Royals, 66-80 (.452), 16 GB
  • Twins, 64-83 (.435), ELIMINATED
  • Rangers, 54-92 (.370), ELIMINATED
  • Orioles, 47-99 (.322), ELIMINATED

National League playoff bracket

Standings updated after games played on Thursday, Sept. 16

Seed Team Division Record Percentage
1 Giants West 95-52 .646
2 Brewers Central 89-57 .610
3 Braves East 76-68 .528
4 (WC) Dodgers West 94-53 .639
5 (WC) Cardinals Central 76-69 .524

National League wild card standings

  • WC1: Dodgers, 94-53 (.639)
  • WC2: Cardinals, 76-69 (.524)

  • Padres, 76-70 (.521), 0.5 GB
  • Reds, 76-71 (.517), 1 GB
  • Phillies, 74-72 (.507), 2.5 GB
  • Mets, 72-75 (.490), 5 GB
  • Rockies, 68-78 (.466), 8.5 GB
  • Cubs, 66-81 (.449), 11 GB
  • Marlins, 62-84 (.425), 14.5 GB
  • Nationals, 60-86 (.411), 16.5 GB
  • Pirates, 54-92 (.370), ELIMINATED
  • Diamondbacks, 47-99 (.322), 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

Updated after games on Thursday, Sept. 16

AL East

Rays, 8/x

Blue Jays, x/8

Red Sox, x/7

Yankees, x/7

Orioles, x/x

AL Central

White Sox, 7/x

Indians, x/7

Tigers, x/3

Royals, x/x

Twins, x/x

AL West

Astros, 10/x

Athletics, x/10

Mariners, x/9

Angels, x/3

Rangers, x/x

AL Wild Card

Blue Jays, 16/x

Red Sox, 16/x

Yankees, x/16

Athletics, x/14

Mariners, x/13

Angels, x/7

Indians, x/8

Tigers, x/4

Royals, x/1

Twins, x/x

Rangers, x/x

Orioles, x/x

NL East

Braves, 15/x

Phillies, x/15

Mets, x/12

Marlins, x/3

Nationals, x/1

NL Central

Brewers, 5/x

Cardinals, x/5

Reds, x/3

Cubs, x/x

Pirates, x/x

NL West

Giants, 15/CLINCHED

Dodgers, x/15

Padres, x/x

Rockies, x/x

Diamondbacks, x/x

NL Wild Card


Cardinals, 17/x

Padres, x/17

Reds, x/16

Phillies, x/15

Mets, x/12

Rockies, x/9

Cubs, x/6

Marlins, x/3

Nationals, x/1

Pirates, x/x

Diamondbacks, x/x

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