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

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

Orioles' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 30, 2012
BALTIMORE -- The homer-happy Orioles used a pair of long balls to beat the Red Sox, 4-3, on Saturday for a series victory that puts Baltimore in a first-place tie in the American League East after the Yankees lost in Toronto earlier in the day.

The win also puts the O's on the cusp of the organization's first postseason berth in 15 years, its magic number down to two with four games to go.

Wells Fargo

The Orioles could clinch on their home turf Sunday afternoon with a chance to celebrate before flying to Tampa if they win and the Angels -- who were rained out in Texas -- lose the first game of a split doubleheader against the Rangers. Saturday's win also kept the O's out in front of the A's for the top Wild Card spot.

Does manager Buck Showalter think this season's been a little bit of a storybook?

"That's why I have a great seat, and it's an honor to sit there and watch it and marvel at what these guys can do, especially when certain things start snowballing," he said. "And you create your karma. These guys have done a good job of doing their [part], where they're expecting good things to happen."

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

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

Yankees (Hughes, 16-13) at Blue Jays (Alvarez, 9-14), 1:07 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