Rangers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 26, 2012

Rangers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 26, 2012

Rangers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 26, 2012
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers need to beat the Oakland Athletics. So far the top two teams in the American League West have split the first two of their four-game series at the Ballpark in Arlington.

The Rangers won on Monday night, but the Athletics came back for a 3-2 victory in 10 innings on Tuesday night. The Rangers are still four games up on the Athletics with eight to play in the season and their magic number is still at five.

"We know what's at stake, we know where we are in the standings and we know how important these games are," second baseman Ian Kinsler said.

After the Athletics, the Rangers host the Angels for three games this weekend. Then they play the Athletics in a three-game series in Oakland to end the season.

Wells Fargo

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

A's (Parker, 11-8) at Rangers (Perez, 1-2), 8:05 p.m. Preview >

Mariners (Hernandez, 13-8) at Angels (Wilson, 12-10), 10:05 p.m. Preview >

Yankees (Sabathia, 13-6) at Twins (Deduno, 6-5), 1:10 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

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.