Tigers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 15, 2012

Tigers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 15, 2012

Tigers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 15, 2012
CLEVELAND -- After rain in Chicago washed out Thursday's showdown between the Tigers and White Sox, the two teams went back to dueling efforts, with both posting shutouts behind the aces who were supposed to match up on Thursday.

After Justin Verlander's seven scoreless innings, helped by defensive gems from Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, shut down the Indians for a 4-0 win, the White Sox and Chris Sale cruised to a 6-0 victory over the Twins. As a result, the Tigers remain a game back in the American League Central.

Detroit and Chicago have to wait until Monday afternoon for their final showdown, but Friday's performances suggested that they won't be overlooking their weekend opponents.

"Every opponent's tough," Fielder said. "You know, obviously Cleveland knows what we're trying to do. They're not going to let us do it. That's going to make them play that much harder, because nobody wants to just roll over, so they're going to be tough on us. We just have to keep playing good enough."

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

Tigers (Sanchez, 7-12) at Indians (Masterson, 11-13) 4:05 p.m. Preview >

White Sox (Liriano, 5-11) at Twins (Deduno, 6-3), 1:10 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.

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