Tigers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 16, 2012

Tigers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 16, 2012

Tigers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 16, 2012
CLEVELAND -- Not only do the Tigers and White Sox keep winning to keep pace in the American League Central race, they keep doing so in similar fashion.

On Friday, the Tigers and White Sox both posted shutouts. On Saturday, they both carried no-hitters for 6 2/3 innings, the Tigers against the Indians and the Sox against the Twins, before their bullpens held on late.

As a result, they remain only a game apart with one more day to go before their all-important makeup game Monday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field, where Doug Fister will oppose Jose Quintana.

"It is what it is," manager Jim Leyland said. "We're obviously still playing for pretty big stakes, just like they are. You have to give them credit; they went over there and won two. You have to give us credit; we came over here and won two against a club that's been beating up on us most of the year. We have to try to figure out how to get one more tomorrow."

For the Tigers, the wins to keep pace have been big, coming against a Cleveland team that has beaten them nine times this season and knocked them out of the AL Central lead twice in the last two months.

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

Tigers (Porcello, 9-12) at Indians (Jimenez, 9-16) 3:05 p.m. Preview >

Rays (Moore, 10-10) at Yankees (Kuroda, 13-10), 1:05 p.m. Preview >

Angels (Haren, 10-11) at Royals (W. Smith, 5-7), 2:10 p.m. Preview >

White Sox (Peavy, 10-11) at Twins (Diamond, 11-7), 2:10 p.m. Preview >

Orioles (Wolf, 5-10) at A's (Straily, 2-0), 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

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.