Dodgers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 23, 2012

Dodgers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 23, 2012

Dodgers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 23, 2012
CINCINNATI -- The Dodgers slipped closer to elimination Saturday with a 6-0 loss to the Reds, who celebrated their National League Central title on the field when the game ended.

The Dodgers have nothing to celebrate. They dropped the game they picked up Friday night in the chase for the second NL Wild Card. They are third, trailing St. Louis by three games and Milwaukee by a half-game with 10 to play.

The Giants' victory over the Padres also officially eliminated the Dodgers from contention for the NL West title.

In the rubber match of the three-game series with the Reds, the Dodgers were uncertain whether to start Clayton Kershaw and his sore hip or Aaron Harang on three days' rest. Harang has a 5.50 ERA in three starts on three days' rest.

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

Dodgers (Harang, 9-10) at Reds (Bailey, 12-9), 8:05 p.m. Preview >

Braves (Hudson, 15-6) at Phillies (Lee, 6-7), 1:35 p.m. Preview >

Brewers (Gallardo, 16-8) at Nationals (Wang, 2-3), 1:05 p.m. Preview >

Pirates (Burnett, 15-8) at Astros (Lyles, 4-11), 2:05 p.m. Preview >

Cardinals (Lohse, 15-3) at Cubs (Germano, 2-8), 2:20 p.m. Preview >

D-backs (Kennedy, 14-11) at Rockies (Francis, 5-6), 3:10 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

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.