The A's still have a chance of being the No. 1 seed. If the Yankees lose on Wednesday and the Orioles win, those two would have a one-game tiebreaker to determine the AL East winner on Thursday. If Baltimore wins that game, the A's become the No. 1 seed and open a best-of-five ALDS against the Wild Card winner -- in this case, it would be either the Rangers or Yankees -- on Sunday.
However, if the A's lose, they enter the postseason as one of the two Wild Card teams and, with a Baltimore win Wednesday, would play that one-game playoff on the road Friday. On the flip side, if the Orioles also lose, the A's will play host to them for the Wild Card game.
Today's key games to watch (all times ET)
Rangers (Dempster, 12-8) at A's (Griffin, 7-1), 3:35 p.m. Preview >
Orioles (Tillman, 9-2) at Rays (Hellickson, 9-11), 7:10 p.m. Preview >
Red Sox (Matsuzaka, 1-6) at Yankees (Kuroda, 15-11), 7:05 p.m. Preview >
If the postseason started today ...
This is how the teams would match up: Postseason Bracket »
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.
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
Complete schedule »