A's Path to the Postseason: Sept. 28, 2012

A's Path to the Postseason: Sept. 28, 2012

A's Path to the Postseason: Sept. 28, 2012
ARLINGTON -- With a 9-7 loss to the Rangers on Thursday, the A's settled for a four-game series split in Texas and closed out their grueling road trip that also included stops in Detroit and New York with a 4-6 ledger.

In doing so, the A's found themselves four games back of the Rangers in the American League West, as they finally head back to the Bay to close out the regular season with a six-game homestand, featuring three each against the Mariners and Rangers.

Wells Fargo

In the AL Wild Card race, the A's hold a two-game advantage over the Angels, who lost to the Mariners.

"We would've loved to take three back home with us, but it's just going to take a little bit more of an effort and be a little bit more of a grind these last six games, but that's what we do," said Josh Reddick, who homered twice. "We grind and focus on winning games."

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

Mariners (Beavan, 10-10) at A's (Griffin, 6-1), 10:05 p.m. Preview >

Angels (Weaver, 19-4) at Rangers (Dempster, 12-7), 8:05 p.m. Preview >

Red Sox (Cook, 4-10) at Orioles (Tillman, 8-2), 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.