White Sox Path to the Postseason: Sept. 30, 2012

White Sox Path to the Postseason: Sept. 30, 2012

White Sox Path to the Postseason: Sept. 30, 2012
CHICAGO -- For the White Sox and the Tigers, there are two important games taking place each day of this final weekend of the regular season, even though they are only participating in one.

So when the White Sox fell down by 10 runs to the Rays at U.S. Cellular Field on Saturday afternoon, the Tigers knew they had to do whatever possible to hold on to the remnants of their six-run lead at Target Field. Detroit survived, behind Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera and Jose Valverde, and claimed a 6-4 victory. The White Sox elimination number now sits at three, with one home game and three road games for the South Siders and four road games for the Tigers.

"When you look at the scoreboard and see the White Sox are going to lose, that's a game [we've] got to win," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland, reinforcing the obvious, but also pointing out his team could not give away that sum of the 6-0 advantage.

All hope is not lost for the White Sox, but that light at the end of the playoff tunnel is getting extremely dim. They finish the home portion of their regular-season schedule on Sunday, with Jose Quintana taking the mound for the first time since Sept. 22. David Price opposes the White Sox, bringing in a 19-5 record, a Major League-best 2.56 ERA and trying to further his American League Cy Young Award candidacy.

Verlander, who figures to be Price's main competitor for the award, is rooting for the competition.

"I hope he wins 20," said Verlander of Price, with Anibal Sanchez taking the mound for the Tigers against the Twins.

"Again, they scheduled a game tomorrow and we're going to play it," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "I think everybody's going to come in and be ready to play."

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

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 >

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

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.