Rangers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 14, 2012

Rangers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 14, 2012

Rangers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 14, 2012
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers missed a chance to go four games up in the American League West when the Indians rallied for a 5-4 victory on Thursday night.

The Rangers are still three games up with 19 to play. All 19 games will be against their three AL West opponents, beginning with a three-game series against the Mariners that starts on Friday night at the Ballpark in Arlington.

The Rangers were 32-25 against the AL West in 2010, and 40-17 last year. But they are 19-19 going into this next stretch against them.

"Most of the time, if you can win in your division, you've got a chance to go to the playoffs," manager Ron Washington said. "The last couple of years, we've done that."

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

Mariners (Iwakuma, 6-4) at Rangers (Darvish, 14-9), 7:05 p.m. Preview >

Angels (Wilson, 12-9) at Royals (Chen, 10-12), 7:10 p.m. Preview >

Orioles (Saunders, 2-1) at A's (Milone, 12-10), 9:10 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

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.