Tigers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 19, 2012

Tigers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 19, 2012

Tigers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 19, 2012
DETROIT -- The Tigers matched their most lopsided win of the season and cooled off red-hot A's rookie A.J. Griffin for his first Major League loss in a 12-2 rout. The White Sox rallied in a pitching duel to pull out a 3-2 win in Kansas City.

It all counts the same in the standings, where the Tigers remain three games behind Chicago in the American League Central with 15 games to play. They made up ground on Oakland in the AL Wild Card race, but Detroit's best shot at a return to the postseason remains winning the division.

"We're going to play the games," manager Jim Leyland said. "We're going to play them hard. We've played hard all year. We haven't always played good. What's in our hands now is winning games. We have no control over what the White Sox do. ...

"There's time, but we've got to win games. And tonight was a good start."

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

A's (Anderson, 4-1) at Tigers (Verlander, 14-8), 7:05 p.m. Preview >

Blue Jays (Alvarez, 9-12) at Yankees (Pettitte, 3-3), 1:05 p.m. (Game 1) Preview >

Blue Jays (Romero, 8-14) at Yankees (Phelps, 4-4), 7:05 p.m. (Game 2) Preview >

Red Sox (Matsuzaka, 1-5) at Rays (Archer, 0-3), 7:10 p.m. Preview >

White Sox (Sale, 17-6) at Royals (Chen, 10-12), 8:10 p.m. Preview >

Orioles (Saunders, 8-12) at Mariners (Hernandez, 13-8), 10:10 p.m. Preview >

Rangers (Holland, 10-6) at Angels (Wilson, 12-9), 10:05 p.m. Preview >

If the postseason started today ...

This is how the teams would match up: 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.