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A's Path to the Postseason: Sept. 30, 2012

A's Path to the Postseason: Sept. 30, 2012

A's Path to the Postseason: Sept. 30, 2012
OAKLAND -- With a thrilling 7-4, walk-off win over the Mariners on Saturday, the A's upped their lead in the American League Wild Card standings to 2 1/2 games over the Angels, while the winning Rays remained three back. They also cut their deficit to the first-place Rangers in the AL West to just 2 1/2 with four to play.

Their magic number at three, the A's can clinch at least a spot in a one-game Wild Card playoff on Sunday, should each of the following happen: the A's beat the Mariners; the Angels lose both games of a doubleheader to Texas; and the Rays lose to the White Sox.

"We're still focused at going at the division," third baseman Josh Donaldson said. "Everything is still wide open. I guarantee you, there's going to be some great baseball left at the end."

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

Angels (Greinke, 15-5) at Rangers (Darvish, 16-9), 1:05 p.m., Game 1 Preview >

Angels (Santana, 9-12) at Rangers (Holland, 11-6), 7:05 p.m., Game 2 Preview >

Mariners (Ramirez, 1-3) at A's (Milone, 13-10), 4:05 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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