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Rangers' Path to the Postseason: Oct. 2, 2012

Rangers' Path to the Postseason: Oct. 2, 2012

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Rangers' Path to the Postseason: Oct. 2, 2012
OAKLAND -- The Rangers have a one-game lead over the A's in the American League West.

But on Monday night, the Rangers had to watch as the A's celebrated on the field after their 4-3 victory at the Coliseum. The A's, like the Rangers on Sunday night, have clinched at least a Wild Card playoff spot, so they were pouring the champagne on Monday.

"They played really well," Rangers infielder Michael Young said. "They deserve a lot of credit. They earned their way in just like any team that makes postseason."

Wells Fargo

The Rangers and A's are now in the playoffs. Yet to be decided is who will win the division. The Rangers have a one-game lead with two to play in Oakland. The arithmetic is simple.

The Rangers, who are tied with the Yankees for the best record in the AL, need one win to clinch their third consecutive division title. The A's need two. Matt Harrison pitches against Travis Blackley on Tuesday.

"My team knows what has to be done," Rangers manager Ron Washington said after Monday's loss. "We got beat tonight. We'll bounce back tomorrow."

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

Rangers (Harrison, 18-10) at A's (Blackley, 5-4), 10:05 p.m. Preview >

Red Sox (Lester, 9-14) at Yankees (Phelps, 4-4), 7:05 p.m. Preview >

Orioles (Gonzalez, 8-4) at Rays (Shields, 15-9), 7:10 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

Complete schedule »

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.

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{"content":["path_to_the_postseason" ] }
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