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A's Path to the Postseason: Sept. 14, 2012

A's Path to the Postseason: Sept. 14, 2012

A's Path to the Postseason: Sept. 14, 2012
Having won each of their previous six games, three each against the Mariners and Angels, the A's fell one win short of a perfect road trip Thursday, after surrendering to Jered Weaver and Co. in Anaheim by way of a 6-0 defeat.

The Rangers lost to the visiting Indians later in the day, keeping the A's three games back of the American League West division leaders.

Oakland is set to play Texas in seven of its final 19 games. The others are no easy chore, either, as Baltimore visits Oakland for a three-game set beginning Friday, before the A's head out for a challenging road swing through Detroit, New York and, finally, the Lone Star State. Back home thereafter, the A's play three each vs. the Mariners and Rangers -- all the while eyeing one goal.

"There's two ways to play, and it's to hold the lead when you're in first or get to first," Jonny Gomes said. "I remember when there was a lot of talk of trying to get to .500 early in the year, and we're not trying to finish at .500. With [19] games left, you're not trying to win the Wild Card. You're trying to get to first."

Today's key games to watch (all times PT)

Tigers (Sanchez, 7-12) at Indians (Kluber, 1-3), 4:05 p.m. Preview >

Rays (Price, 17-5) at Yankees (Sabathia, 13-5), 4:05 p.m. Preview >

Mariners (Iwakuma, 6-4) at Rangers (Darvish, 14-9), 5:05 p.m. Preview >

Angels (Wilson, 12-9) at Royals (Chen, 10-12), 5:10 p.m. Preview >

If the postseason started today ...

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Wild Card: Second Wild Card at First Wild Card
Division Series: Second-best AL record vs. Third-best AL record | Best AL record at Wild Card winner

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Wild Card: Second Wild Card at First Wild Card
Division Series: Second-best NL record vs. Third-best NL record | Best NL record at Wild Card winner

Postseason Bracket »

Postseason 101

Magic numbers
To calculate a team's magic number, take the number of games it has remaining and add one. Then subtract the difference in the number of losses between that team and its closest pursuer.

Tiebreaker scenarios
A tiebreaker game will be played to determine a division winner, even if the tied clubs are assured of participating in the postseason. If a division championship tiebreaker is necessary, the head-to-head record between the clubs will determine home-field advantage. If the head-to-head record is tied, then the division record will be the next tiebreaker.

If two clubs are tied for the two Wild Card berths, home-field advantage will be determined by the head-to-head record between the clubs. If the head-to-head record is tied, then the division record will be the next tiebreaker.

Tiebreaker rules »

2012 postseason schedule
Wild Card playoff games: Oct. 5
Division Series: Oct. 6-12
AL Championship Series: Oct. 13-21
NL Championship Series: Oct. 14-22
World Series: Oct. 24-Nov. 1

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["path_to_the_postseason" ] }
{"content":["path_to_the_postseason" ] }