9/30 update: The cardiac Marlins just keep on doing it. Down 3-0 to the Pirates after seven innings, Miami put up four runs in the top of the eighth to steal another win — and, combined with Chicago’s walk-off loss to the Brewers, whittle their Wild Card magic number down to one. Win one of their three remaining games (remember, they still have the ninth inning of Thursday’s game against the Mets to finish if needed) and they’re in.
Hard as it is to believe, we’ve officially reached the final weekend of the 2023 MLB regular season. Five of the league’s six divisional races have been decided, but there’s still plenty to be settled over the next few days — including the NL Wild Card, where two spots are still up for grabs. Few expected the Marlins to be here at this point in the year, but despite a slew of bad breaks — including some intervention from Mother Nature this week — Miami is now in sole control of the final Wild Card spot. Let’s take a look at where the Fish stand with a three days left in the season and their magic number for sealing up a postseason berth.
Marlins’ magic number
Miami technically has four games remaining: three games in Pittsburgh against the Pirates and then the final three outs of Thursday’s game against the Mets (which the Marlins will return to New York to complete should the standings require it). If the Fish lose all four, they need a ton of help — namely the Brewers to sweep the Cubs this weekend, which would create a tie at 82-80 that Miami would win thanks to a victory in the season series against Chicago. Any other combination of three Miami wins and Cubs losses gives the final spot to the Marlins, while the head-to-head edge over the Reds (via better intradivision record) means their magic number over Cincy is at two.
NL Wild Card standings
4. Chicago Cubs (82-78), 0.5 GB
5. Cincinnati Reds (82-78), 1.5 GB