Rangers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 17, 2012

Rangers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 17, 2012

Rangers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 17, 2012
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers grabbed a little breathing room from the A's for the first time in 10 days with Sunday's 2-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

The Rangers gained ground on the A's for the first time since Sept. 6, that despite winning their last three series, pushing their lead to three games in the AL West. They have won six straight series at home.

That's how you hold on in a tight race, even with a hot team chasing you. The Rangers have not lost consecutive games since they lost three straight Aug. 13-15 at the Yankees.

They have 16 games remaining, seven of them against the A's. Both teams are off on Monday, with the Rangers beginning a series in Anaheim on Tuesday while the A's head to Detroit.

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

Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.