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LAND -- The A's maintained their two-game cushion in the Wild Card race with their 8-2 win against the Mariners on Friday night, and moved to three games behind the Rangers in the American League West.
With the Angels kicking off a three-game set with the Rangers with a 7-4 win, the A's face a win-win scenario with their two top division foes squaring off. Angels losses contribute to the A's magic number for clinching a Wild Card berth, which shrank to four following Friday's win. Rangers losses, though, keep Oakland's hopes for a division title alive.
Asked what he looks forward to the most in the last week of the season, manager Bob Melvin's answer was simple -- "Playing hard tomorrow."
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.