Apple seems to have backed down on Episode Numbers in Episode Titles. Here is a partial quote from the email they sent out…
We’ve received a lot of questions about metadata best practices on Apple Podcasts. We want to provide more details and clarification as you think about improving your show’s metadata.
Your Show Won’t Be Removed for Having Episode Numbers in Episode Titles
Starting with iOS 11 in September 2017, we introduced modern RSS tags to improve podcast metadata. These tags include support for seasons, trailers, and episode numbers. The new tags help us present your show to your listeners on Apple Podcasts and present listening data to you in Podcast Analytics.
Be sure to listen to Episode 117 for the first part of this story…
Here is a list of the apps/directories that are using the Apple Tags and not using the Apple tags.
Apple Podcasts – iTunes title (of course)
Itunes desktop – main title ‽
Blubrry – main title
Google Podcasts – main title
Pocket Casts – iTunes title
Podcast Addict – main title
BeyondPod – Stripped out the number but uses the main title ??
Spotify – main Title
Tunein – main title
Stitcher – Not updating 🙁
Overcast – iTunes Title
Himalaya – iTunes Title