Rangers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 29, 2012

Rangers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 29, 2012

Rangers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 29, 2012
ARLINGTON -- There were Friday fireworks at the Ballpark in Arlington after the Rangers' 7-4 loss to the Angels. Many Rangers players hit the road quickly to beat the traffic, not waiting around to see how the Athletics were doing in Oakland.

Wells Fargo

The Rangers don't need to worry, even with the Athletics beating the Mariners. That still leaves the Rangers with a three-game lead in the American League West with five to play. The Rangers haven't clinched a division title, yet but they aren't in a fingernail-biting situation either.

"We just have to go out and play and win ballgames," manager Ron Washington said. "If we win ballgames, that will take care of itself."

The Rangers will send Derek Holland to the mound on Saturday afternoon to face right-hander Ervin Santana. A sellout crowd is expected at the Ballpark in Arlington although rain is forecast for North Texas.

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

Angels (Santana, 9-12) at Rangers (Holland, 11-6), 4:05 p.m. Preview >

Mariners (Vargas, 14-11) at A's (Straily, 2-1), 4:05 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

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.