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A's Path to the Postseason: Sept. 17, 2012

A's Path to the Postseason: Sept. 17, 2012

A's Path to the Postseason: Sept. 17, 2012
OAKLAND -- The A's dropped Sunday's finale with the Orioles, 9-5, after taking the first two games of the series, but they remained two games above Baltimore for the American League's top Wild Card spot.

Combined with a Texas win, the A's fell to three games behind the Rangers in the American League West. That's where they'll stand when rookie right-hander A.J. Griffin takes the mound in Detroit on Tuesday for the start of a 10-game road swing that also includes stops in New York and the Lone Star State.

"Everybody knew what the schedule was going to be here," manager Bob Melvin said. "At this time of year I don't think 16 in a row is going to bother us because every game's going to have the magnitude that it is. Everybody's looking forward to getting to the park and playing."

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Wells Fargo

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

Orioles (Tillman, 7-2) at Mariners (Noesi, 2-11), 10:10 p.m. Preview >

Tigers (Fister, 9-8) at White Sox (Quintana, 6-4), 2:10 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. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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