Yes, I know it can be kind of a jinx to do this.  Oh well.

It really is time for this team to start pulling together and figuring it’s stuff out.  September is the month where they need to get into playoff mode.  Not just to ensure they make the playoffs, but survive them.  So get a look at what it’s going to take to be division champs.  (Right now, that magic number is lower than what a wild card spot would be.)

(For those who don’t know, a Magic Number is how many of your team’s wins, plus their rival’s losses, it would take to clinch a playoff spot/division title/etc.  The number can go down up to two a day, barring doubleheaders.  It won’t go up.  But if it’s not zero by the end of the season, no playoffs!)

I’m including the numbers to clinch home field advantage in the first round, and overall home field advantage, even though those numbers are higher than the games remaining.  With Washington’s slide, at least one of those is reachable.

The question is, if you can’t be the top seed and get to face one of the wild card teams…do you want to be seeded 2nd or 3rd?

Considering that the first round will start at the lower-seed’s stadium for two games, and then up-to-three at the higher-seed’s stadium…well, Giants fans that have been around since 1997 know how that can go.  A three-game sweep, and just one game at home for the better-ranked team.  It’s just a one-off for this year, as a result of forcing the wild card into the schedule, but it’s worth thinking about for this year.

On the other hand, getting the final three games at home would give the Giants a chance to clinch at least one playoff series at home (assuming they win it).  That’s something they didn’t get to do even once in 2010, and it’d be cool to see happen.

But first thing’s first…get into the playoffs.  And that means 30 wins or Dodger losses.

If things ended today:

NL Wild Card: St. Louis at Atlanta

AL Wild Card: Baltimore at Oakland

NL Division: Wild Card vs. Cincinnati; San Francisco vs. Washington

AL Division: Wild Card vs. Texas; Chicago vs. New York

Note: The Reds would be the top seed if things end today, but the Nationals have a couple of games in hand, so the Home Field Advantage Magic Number is against the Nationals.

That’s an interesting lineup.  There are some familiar faces in the playoffs: Atlanta and St. Louis aren’t strangers to the postseason, and Texas and New York are regulars on the AL side lately.  But Washington would be a crazy team to see in the playoffs, and the thoughts of Oakland being back in the postseason, and the ever-longshot possibility of another Bay Bridge Series?  Yep, I’m curious.

It’s almost September.  It’s time to genuinely think playoffs.