By only splitting a doubleheader at Rangers Ballpark on Sunday -- and watching as the A's notched their third straight win over the Mariners -- the Angels are now three games back of the second American League Wild Card spot with only three regular-season games left in Seattle.
The only chance they have at forcing a tiebreaker game on Thursday is to sweep the Mariners and for the A's to get swept by the Rangers in Oakland. Their next loss, or A's victory, mathematically eliminates them.
The Rays also trail Oakland by three games, and a sweep of the Orioles could create a three-way tie.
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.
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.