D-backs’ wild card tiebreakers primer, postseason magic number

Sep 29, 2023, 2:15 PM | Updated: 3:20 pm

Lourdes Gurriel Jr...

Lourdes Gurriel Jr #12 of the Arizona Diamondbacks rounds the bases after hitting a three run home run against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Chase Field on September 15, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks enter the final weekend of the regular season with the second National League Wild Card spot in hand, controlling their own destiny.

The wild card standings entering Friday were: Phillies (89-70), D-backs (84-75), Marlins (82-76), Cubs (82-77), Reds (81-78).

Arizona’s magic number for a playoff spot sits at one game with the Houston Astros left on the schedule. It can clinch Friday with a win or losses by both the Cubs and Reds.

The D-backs are done playing National League teams during the regular season, and their tiebreakers in the NL Wild Card battle are set.

Head-to-head record is the first tiebreaker, as the Game 163 was eliminated when playoffs expanded last year. The second tiebreaker is record within one’s division followed by record within the league but outside of the division.

The three division winners in the NL are close to set in stone. The Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers clinched their divisions with the Brewers hosting the third wild card team in the three-game NL Wild Card Series.

The Phillies will face the second wild card team.

The postseason starts on Tuesday.

Here’s a look at the D-backs’ tiebreaker statuses and the remaining schedules of their wild card competitors:

Diamondbacks’ National League Wild Card race tiebreakers

D-backs vs. Phillies

Tiebreaker: Phillies (4-3)

Two of Philadelphia’s wins over Arizona came in extra innings, including a game in which then-Diamondbacks reliever Jose Ruiz had two outs with a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the ninth inning at Citizen’s Bank Park.

Phillies remaining schedule: at Mets (3)

D-backs vs. Cubs

Tiebreaker: D-backs (6-1)

The Diamondbacks claimed three of four games at Wrigley Field a week before sweeping the Cubs at home to jump them in the standings during their last homestand.

Cubs remaining schedule: at Brewers (3)

D-backs vs. Marlins

Tiebreaker: Marlins (4-2)

Arizona has not faced Miami since May 10. Madison Bumgarner started in one of the D-backs’ losses, while two others involved late-game lead changes.

The trick here is that the Marlins faced the Mets on Thursday, and the game was rained out in the top of the ninth inning.

They won’t be able to make up that final inning until Monday if necessary, which could impact the D-backs’ seeding.

Marlins remaining schedule: at Pirates (3), at Mets (1, if needed)

D-backs vs. Reds

Tiebreaker: Reds (4-3)

The difference in this series is an extra-inning balk from Nabil Crismatt in his lone Diamondbacks appearance that put the Reds ahead at Chase Field.

Reds remaining opponents: at Cardinals (3)

Three-way tiebreaker

The most likely three-ways ties the D-backs could find themselves in would involve a combination of the Cubs, Marlins and Reds:

D-backs, Cubs, Marlins: Marlins own head-to-head vs. both

D-backs, Cubs, Reds: Reds own head-to-head vs. both

D-backs, Marlins, Reds: Marlins and Reds own head-to-head over D-backs, Marlins hold better intradivision record than Reds

Checking in on Astros

The final series of the regular season could make or break both the D-backs’ and Astros’ seasons.

Houston enters the set one game ahead of the Seattle Mariners for the final AL Wild Card spot and two games back of the Texas Rangers for the division lead.

Arizona Diamondbacks

General manager Mike Hazen...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks pick Shaun Larkin for director of player development

The Diamondbacks hired Shaun Larkin as their new director of player development and promoted Chris Slivka to assistant farm director.

12 hours ago


Arizona Sports Video

Video: Can the Arizona Diamondbacks trade for Randy Arozarena? Gambo shares what he knows

Can the Arizona Diamondbacks trade for Randy Arozarena? Gambo shares what he knows. Video: Felisa Cárdenas and Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports

15 hours ago

Jorge Soler #12 of the Miami Marlins celebrates with teammates in the dugout after scoring during t...

David Veenstra

ESPN’s Schoenfield: Under-the-radar MLB free agents for Diamondbacks to consider

While Shohei Ohtani will command most of the attention this offseason, there is still value to be had elsewhere on the open market.

22 hours ago

Jose Castillo...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks sign LHP Jose Castillo to minor league deal

The Diamondbacks signed left-handed pitcher Jose Castillo to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training.

2 days ago

Andres Chaparro...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks add power-hitting minor leaguer Andres Chaparro, assign him to Triple-A

The Arizona Diamondbacks added pop to the system by signing former New York Yankee prospect Andres Chaparro to a minor league deal.

3 days ago

Diamondbacks season ticket pass...

Arizona Sports

Arizona Diamondbacks offer 2024 season ticket pass for $299

The Arizona Diamondbacks announced a new season ticket package for all home games at Chase Field for $299.

4 days ago

D-backs’ wild card tiebreakers primer, postseason magic number