A's Path to the Postseason: Sept. 27, 2012

A's Path to the Postseason: Sept. 27, 2012
ARLINGTON -- The A's remain focused on the American League West crown, and why shouldn't they following Wednesday's 9-3 victory over the Rangers that put them within three of the division lead?

Oakland has a chance to trim that number to two in Thursday's series finale, before the club heads home to take on the Mariners for three and then the Rangers for three more.

"These are the guys we're trying to catch," Josh Reddick said. "We're not trying to get the Wild Card, we're trying to stay in this division race, and playing seven out of the last 10 games against these guys it's definitely possible."

In the AL Wild Card standings, Oakland still holds the lead for the second spot, and its separation from Baltimore, which controls the top slot, is only a half-game. The Angels, who earned a walk-off victory against the Mariners on Wednesday, remain two back of the A's.

Wells Fargo

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

A's (Blackley, 5-3) at Rangers (Harrison, 17-10), 2:05 p.m. Preview >

Mariners (Iwakuma, 7-5) at Angels (Haren, 12-11), 3:35 p.m. Preview >

Yankees (Nova, 12-7) at Blue Jays (Morrow, 8-7), 7:07 p.m. Preview >

Rays (Shields, 15-9) at White Sox (Peavy, 11-12), 8:10 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

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.