Angels' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 21, 2012

Angels' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 21, 2012

Angels' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 21, 2012
ANAHEIM -- Another day, another heartbreaker for the Angels, who suffered a 3-1 loss to the Rangers on Thursday night and fell even further back in the standings with only 12 games remaining in their season.

Wells Fargo

As recently as Sept. 10, the Angels were one game back of a playoff spot. But since then, they've gone 4-6, dropping three of four to the A's, winning two of three against the Royals and dropping two of three to the Rangers. Now, they're 4 1/2 games back of the A's and Orioles, both tied for the lead in the American League Wild Card race.

Next up, they'll host the AL Central-leading White Sox in a weekend series.

"We still have the fight, man," Angels right fielder Torii Hunter said. "That's one thing we're going to do. We're not going to give up. We're going to keep fighting, we're going to keep doing what we need to do. We have to catch a break somewhere, that's outside of our control, but all we can do is worry about what we can do here in these next six games at home."

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

White Sox (Peavy, 11-11) at Angels (Santana, 8-12), 10:05 p.m. Preview >

A's (Parker, 11-8) at Yankees (Sabathia, 13-6), 7:05 p.m. Preview >

Orioles (Gonzalez, 6-4) at Red Sox (Lester, 9-12), 7:10 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

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.