Angels' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 28, 2012

Angels' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 28, 2012

Angels' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 28, 2012
ANAHEIM -- The streaking Angels came into Thursday's series finale on a five-game winning streak and had a chance to move within one game of the final Wild Card spot with Oakland losing earlier in the day.

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But instead of traveling to Texas with momentum and a significantly greater chance of making the playoffs, the Angels are left hoping for a small miracle after losing, 9-4, to the Mariners in their final game at home.

Both the Angels and A's have six games remaining before the end of the regular season and each team will face the Rangers and Mariners three more times.

"Hopefully, Oakland loses about three games," Torii Hunter said. "We've got to hope for the best. That is what we are going to continue to do."

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

Angels (Weaver, 19-4) at Rangers (Dempster, 7-2), 8:05 p.m. Preview >

Red Sox (Cook, 4-10) at Orioles (Tillman, 8-2), 7:05 p.m. Preview >

Mariners (Beavan, 10-10) at A's (Griffin, 6-1), 10:05 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

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