What Does E# Mean in Baseball Standings? – Explained

A. Coatess

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A. Coatess



Sean Hunter

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what does e# mean in baseball standings

In baseball, a Major League Baseball team standing is calculated through a system of wins or losses. This is key to knowing how many games they need to win for better chances during a season.

There are ways to know the competition between teams, one of which is through calculating the e#. But what does e# mean in baseball standings?

An e# (or elimination number) indicates the combined number of a team’s losses and other teams’ wins to determine their chances during seasons.

E# in Baseball Standings: What Does It Mean?


1. E# in MLB standings

What does e# mean in MLB standings? In baseball, there is a thing where teams can anticipate and prepare for the number of games they need to win as well as lose through a system of calculation.

This is commonly called e# or, elimination number in MLB, also as the “tragic number”. In this case, we now know that e stands for elimination in baseball.

Generally, an e# shows the lagging teams’ combined total number of games losses, as well as the leading teams’ number of wins, to kick the lagging team off the season. The main purpose of this system is to accurately visualize the chances of a team through points, games won, and games lost.

2. The magic number

Before we talk about how to compute a team’s e#, I will first tell you about the opposite concept of an e#, which is the magic number. So, what does a magic number mean in baseball?

Interestingly so, a magic number is the opposite system of an e#, but it should be known that they are highly connected with each other.

A magic number is a computation of a frontrunner team’s total number of wins, and how many games other teams have to lose for the frontrunners to save themselves a spot for playoffs, or in some scenarios, even bring home the division title.

They’re both similar, right? If in e#, we calculate the lagging team’s numbers, in a magic number, we calculate the frontrunner’s chances of bringing home the bacon.

How Does an E-number in MLB Standings Work?

An e# and the magic number are closely connected according to their definition, the same goes for their calculation.

Simply put, the magic number of a frontrunning team is equivalent to the largest computation of e# amongst the lagging teams. Say for example the lagging team has an e# of 11, the magic number for the top team is also 9.

We’ll know more about this in the computation.

How to Calculate E Number in Baseball Standings


Since we’ve already established the connection between an e# and magic numbers, we’d head on to knowing the magic numbers formula. There are three ways of calculating them:

  • First, we have the general formula of G+1−WA−LB which stands for
  • G = represents the season’s overall number of games.
  • WA = matches won by Team A in a season
  • LB = the total number of defeats Team B has suffered in a season

Following this formula, let’s have an example where there are 162 games per season in the MLB and:

Teams in the league Games won Games lost
A 105 43
B 93 55

It will look like this: 162 + 1 – 105 – 55 = 3. In this scenario, we can say that the e# for Team B stands at 3, and the magic number for Team A is also 3.

  • We also have another formula to calculate magic numbers that would give us the same answer as the example above. The formula is WB+GRB-WA+1 which stands for:
  • WB = how many victories Team B has had so far this season
  • GRB = how many games Team B has left to play in the current season
  • WA = how many victories Team A has achieved so far this season.

Following the same numbers we have in the example above, here’s what we get from using this formula: 93 + 14 – 105 + 1 = 3. Notice that we got the same output above, the magic number and e# for both teams there are still 3.

  • We also have a third formula for the MLB magic number calculator. The formula is LA+GRA-LB+1, where we use the losses of teams to derive our answers.
  • LA = how many defeats Team A has suffered so far this season
  • GRA = how many games Team A has left to play in the current season
  • LB = how many games Team B has lost this season

Using this similar formula, we can calculate: 43 + 14 – 55 + 1 = 3. We can still get an e# of 3 and a magic number of the same.

To expound on this concept and give you a more detailed direction on how to calculate, refer to the table below in calculating the magic number of Team A:

Teams in the league Games won Games lost Percentile Games behind E#
Team A 88 games 56 games 0.611
Team B 75 games 71 games 0.514 14.0 e# is 4
Team C 73 games 70 games 0.510 14.5 e# is 5

In order to calculate this, we can use any of the three formulas above but for now, let’s just use the general one: 162+1-88-70 that would give us an answer of 5 for Team A’s magic number. In this calculation, we used Team C’s number of losses because it’s the lowest aside from Team A’s.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a tragic number in hockey and what is an NHL tragic number?

Hockey and NHL tragic numbers can be derived through a similar system of E# in baseball. It is also the combination of the number of wins and losses of trailing and leading teams.


An E# standing in baseball shows players and coaches a glimpse of how their teams are performing. This concept enables everyone involved in the sport an easier visualization of what areas to improve, how many games they have to win, and how many more they can’t afford to lose.

For the spectators, this will give them a heads up of what’s coming ahead of the teams they’re rooting for. This is why I hope you learn a thing or two in this guide on “what does e# mean in baseball standings?” to better understand the sport we all love.

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