Rays' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 30, 2012

Rays' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 30, 2012

Rays' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 30, 2012
The Rays defeated the White Sox, 10-4, on Saturday afternoon to keep their playoff hopes alive.

The American League East-leading Yankees lost to the Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon to leave the Rays one game from elimination in the division race.

Unfortunately for the Rays, the Athletics took a 7-4 come-from-behind win over the Mariners and the Orioles beat the Red Sox, 4-3, giving Oakland and Baltimore a tie atop the AL Wild Card race, with Tampa Bay three games back.

That creates the possibility that the Rays could be eliminated from the Wild Card race on Sunday if they lose to the White Sox and both the A's and O's win. Meanwhile, the Rays trail the Angels by a half-game, with the Halos scheduled for a doubleheader on Sunday.

"We just have to play tomorrow," Rays manager Joe Maddon said after Saturday's win.

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

Yankees (Hughes, 16-13) at Blue Jays (Alvarez, 9-14), 1:07 p.m. Preview >

Red Sox (Stewart, 1-3) at Orioles (Saunders, 8-13), 1:35 p.m. Preview >

Rays (Price, 19-5) at White Sox (Quintana, 6-5), 2:10 p.m. Preview >

Tigers (Sanchez, 9-13) at Twins (Hendriks, 1-8), 2:10 p.m. Preview >

Mariners (Ramirez, 1-3) at A's (Milone, 13-10), 4:05 p.m. Preview >

Angels (Greinke, 15-5) at Rangers (Darvish, 16-9), 1:05 p.m., Game 1 Preview >

Angels (Santana, 9-12) at Rangers (Holland, 11-6), 7:05 p.m., Game 2 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

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.