"You think it's a lot; you have to pretty much win four games and they have to lose four, but it can happen," outfielder Torii Hunter said. "It can happen. [The A's] play some pretty good teams."
Oakland is playing at Yankee Stadium this weekend, then four games in Texas, before hosting the Mariners for three and finishing the regular season with three more home games against the first-place Rangers. The Angels, meanwhile, finish up a weekend series against the White Sox, then host the Mariners for three and conclude their season with three in Texas and three in Seattle.
"We have to win," Hunter added. "That's the attitude we're going to bring every day: must win."
Saturday's key games to watch (all times ET)
White Sox (Quintana, 6-4) at Angels (Haren, 11-11), 9:05 p.m. Preview >
A's (Blackley, 5-3) at Yankees (Nova, 12-7), 1:05 p.m. Preview >
Orioles (Wolf, 5-10) at Red Sox (Cook, 4-10), 1:10 p.m. Preview >
If the postseason started today ...
This is how the teams would match up: Postseason Bracket »
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.
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