9/23 Update: The Rays trail the Yankees by 8.5 games for the AL East crown. The magic number for Tampa Bay to clinch a playoff spot is nine.
The 2022 MLB playoffs are fast approaching and there’s still a lot that can change in terms of the playoff picture in the American League. The East division has become more interesting in the second half of the season with the New York Yankees struggling. That has opened up the door for the Tampa Bay Rays to make a run at first place. Let’s take a look at where the Rays stand with a few weeks left in the season and their magic number to seal up a postseason berth.
Rays magic number
The Rays have a lot of work to do if they want to win the AL East. The big issue is no more games against the Yankees. Tampa Bay does have a four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays, which will have more of an impact on the Wild Card race. The Rays also have two series against the Houston Astros and one against the Cleveland Guardians. Those games won’t be easy. So you could say the Rays’ path to the playoffs is quite brutal. Still, the Rays enter Monday, Sept. 19 with a 1.5 game lead on the Seattle Mariners and 5.5 games on the Baltimore Orioles, who are outside the WC picture.