D-backs' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 16, 2012

D-backs' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 16, 2012

D-backs' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 16, 2012
PHOENIX -- With the D-backs' 3-2 loss to the Giants on Saturday, the remained 4 1/2 games back of the second National League Wild Card spot, which was shared by St. Louis and Los Angeles after the Dodgers' comeback win over the Cardinals.

The Cardinals, who coughed up a 3-2 ninth-inning lead in Los Angeles, have won just twice in their past 10 games.

With 17 games remaining in the regular season, the Cardinals, Dodgers, Pirates, Phillies and Brewers all stand between the D-backs and a postseason berth.

Rookie left-hander Patrick Corbin will toe the rubber on Sunday, looking to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Giants, who will start Ryan Vogelsong.

The D-backs then have an off-day Monday before hosting the Padres for three games.

Today's key games to watch (all times ET)
Giants (Vogelsong, 12-8) at D-backs (Corbin, 5-7), 4:10 p.m. Preview >

Cardinals (Wainwright, 13-13) at Dodgers (Fife, 0-1), 4:10 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

Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.