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Orioles' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 28, 2012

The Orioles, who were off on Thursday, received two pieces of good news as they prepare to open a three-game series against the Red Sox at Camden Yards on Friday.

The first came in the afternoon, when the A's lost to the Rangers and dropped a full game behind the Orioles for the top American League Wild Card spot. Baltimore still has a magic number of five to clinch a playoff berth.

The second came later in the night, when the Yankees fell to the Blue Jays, decreasing their AL East lead over the Orioles to one. New York's magic number for the division remains at six, with six games left.

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

Yankees (Kuroda, 14-11) at Blue Jays (Jenkins, 0-2), 7:07 p.m. Preview >

Angels (Weaver, 19-4) at Rangers (Dempster, 7-2), 8:05 p.m. Preview >

Tigers (Smyly, 4-3) at Twins (Diamond, 12-8), 8:10 p.m. Preview >

Rays (Hellickson, 9-10) at White Sox (Floyd, 10-11), 8:10 p.m. Preview >

Mariners (Beavan, 10-10) at A's (Griffin, 6-1), 10:05 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

The Orioles, who were off on Thursday, received two pieces of good news as they prepare to open a three-game series against the Red Sox at Camden Yards on Friday.

The first came in the afternoon, when the A's lost to the Rangers and dropped a full game behind the Orioles for the top American League Wild Card spot. Baltimore still has a magic number of five to clinch a playoff berth.

The second came later in the night, when the Yankees fell to the Blue Jays, decreasing their AL East lead over the Orioles to one. New York's magic number for the division remains at six, with six games left.

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

Yankees (Kuroda, 14-11) at Blue Jays (Jenkins, 0-2), 7:07 p.m. Preview >

Angels (Weaver, 19-4) at Rangers (Dempster, 7-2), 8:05 p.m. Preview >

Tigers (Smyly, 4-3) at Twins (Diamond, 12-8), 8:10 p.m. Preview >

Rays (Hellickson, 9-10) at White Sox (Floyd, 10-11), 8:10 p.m. Preview >

Mariners (Beavan, 10-10) at A's (Griffin, 6-1), 10:05 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

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.