We’re at that time of the regular season during which most teams are making a final push to clinch a spot in the postseason. Some teams (such as the Cubs) have basically already clinched a spot and some others (such as the Twins) are already mathematically eliminated. Most teams fall somewhere in between.
Many baseball fans will look at the standings every day in September. If they see their favorite team is leading its respective division, they’ll hope that, for the rest of the regular season, that team win will more games than anyone else in the division, thus allowing that team to become the division champion. This is guaranteed.
If they see, on the other hand, that their favorite team is not leading its respective division, they will check the number of games remaining and the number of games by which their team is behind the division leader. If the number of games remaining is greater than the number of games behind, then they can hold out hope that their team can win the division by winning all its remaining games, while the division leader loses all their remaining games. Unfortunately, this is not always guaranteed.
The type of error is made not only by Average Joe sports fans, but also professional sportswriters. This article will describe these tricky scenarios in which teams are eliminated from postseason contention.