A's Path to the Postseason: Sept. 25, 2012

A's Path to the Postseason: Sept. 25, 2012

A's Path to the Postseason: Sept. 25, 2012
ARLINGTON -- The A's, who lost 5-4 to the Rangers on Monday night, have suddenly dropped six of their past eight, leaving them five games back of the American League West-leading Rangers, whom they'll play in six of their final nine games, including three more in Texas this week.

Moreover, Oakland's lead over the idle Angels in the AL Wild Card race slipped to two games, its distance from the Orioles, who hold the top spot, at 1 1/2.

"Wins are at a premium right now," Dan Straily said, "and every day is just a battle."

Wells Fargo

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

A's (Milone, 13-10) at Rangers (Darvish, 16-9), 8:05 p.m. Preview >

Mariners (Ramirez, 1-2) at Angels (Greinke, 14-5), 10:05 p.m. Preview >

Blue Jays (Laffey, 3-6) at Orioles (Saunders, 2-2), 7:05 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

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.