Yankees' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 27, 2012

Yankees' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 27, 2012
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Yankees refused to squander another chance on Wednesday.

A day after a 5-4 loss to Minnesota saw them unable to capitalize on Baltimore's second straight loss to Toronto, New York took an 8-2 win over the Twins at Target Field.

The win maintained the Yankees' lead in the American League East at 1 1/2 games after the O's routed the Blue Jays.

"Every win's important for us right now," Nick Swisher said. "We feel good. We're playing extremely well. [Tuesday] night, that one kind of slipped away from us, and we didn't want to lose an opportunity at another one today."

Ivan Nova will get things started for the Yankees in Toronto, as New York will have four games with the Blue Jays before returning home to face the Red Sox for three next week to close out the regular-season schedule.

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

Yankees (Nova, 12-7) at Blue Jays (Morrow, 8-7), 7:07 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

Jordan Garretson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.