Magic Numbers and Games to Watch 09/22/2013

Tasos Katopodis

This is it, the magic number is 1. It's real simple now. If Houston beats Cleveland, A's fans get a nice mid-game "We clinched the postseason" cheer. If KC beats Texas, A's fans get a mid-game "We clinched the division" cheer mixed with a twinge of "Too bad it couldn't have been an end-of-game clinch." And so, jealously, as I'll be at the game, I'm hoping for Texas to win tomorrow just to get that grand end of the season homestand celebration.

The A's have 7 games remaining: 1 vs MIN, 3 @ LAA, and 3 @SEA.

Weather appears to not be a factor for tomorrow, with sun sun sun predicted everywhere. Cleveland might see a slight delayed start, but the forecast calls for only a 10% chance of precipitation by game start and sun after that.

In terms of postseason seeding, we picked up a game on Boston with their loss to Toronto, but Detroit pulled out the miracle comeback with a 6-run ninth to eventually win in extra innings against the ChiSox.

If Oakland and Boston are tied at the end of the championship season, Oakland would win any tiebreaker because:

  1. Oakland and Boston tied the season series 3-3.
  2. Higher winning percentage in intradivision games: OAK is 41-29 with 6 to play, BOS is 42-30 (even in GB) with 4 to play. The second tiebreaker magic number is 6. If we do tie Boston, at worst this tiebreaker is also a tie only if we beat Minnesota and Boston loses both games to Colorado next week. Any other scenario ending with an even record results in Oakland winning this tiebreaker.
  3. Higher winning percentage in the last half of intraleague games: There are 142 intraleague games. OAK's record in the last 64 games in the AL is 40-24 0.625, with 7 AL games remaining. BOS's record in the last 67 games in the AL is 39-28 (2.5 GB Oakland), with 4 AL games remaining. The third tiebreaker magic number is 4. Because there is only one intraleague game between the two would-be tied clubs that is not an intradivision game, a tie in intradivision would necessarily mean Oakland winning the third tiebreaker. Basically, Oakland wins in the event of any tie record, at this point.
  4. Just for laughs, there is a fourth tiebreaker. To figure it out you go to each intraleague game backwards until you break the tie, so long as the game is not between the tied teams. So the 71st intraleague games were both teams losing (BOS to DET on 6/20, OAK to SEA on 6/23).
  5. The 70th games were both losses (BOS to TAM on 6/19, OAK to SEA on 6/22).
  6. The 69th games were both victories (BOS over TAM in Game 2 of 6/18 double-header, OAK over SEA on 6/21).
  7. The 68th game the tie breaks to Boston. Boston won Game 1 of the 6/18 double-header against Tampa, but Oakland lost to Texas on 6/20.
  8. I never want to figure this tiebreaker out again.

And I'll throw Tampa in there, just so I'm not tempting fate.

Optimal results for Athletics fans attending tomorrow's game (all times Pacific):

  • Houston defeats Cleveland (10:05 am) (Postseason MN = 1)
  • ChiSox defeats Detroit (10:08 am) (ALDS Home Field = 6)
  • Toronto defats Boston (10:35 am) (ALCS Home Field = 8)
  • Baltimore defeats Tampa Bay (10:40 am) (TAM = 2)
  • Texas defeats Kansas City (11:10 am) (Division MN = 1), to preserve the on-field celebration when...
  • Oakland defeats Minnesota (1:05 pm)

Magic Number = 163 - A's wins (92) - OppL

Division Seeding

  • 8 = BOS (L vs TOR; 1 vs TOR, 2 @ COL, 3 @ BAL) (Any tie breaks to the A's (see above): 163 - 92 - 62 - 1)
  • 6 = DET (W vs CWS; 1 vs CWS, 3 @ MIN, 3 @ MIA) (A's won season series: 163 - 92 - 64 - 1)

AL West

  • 1 = TEX (W @ KC; 1 @ KC, 4 vs HOU, 4 vs LAA)

1st Wildcard

  • 2 = TAM (W vs BAL; 2 vs BAL, 3 @ NYY, 3 @ TOR)


  • 1 = CLE (W vs HOU; 1 vs HOU, 2 vs CWS, 4 @ MIN)