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YORK -- The Yankees did not do their part to remain atop the American League East on Friday, losing to the Rays, 6-4, but thanks to Oakland's win against Baltimore, they wake up Saturday tied with the Orioles and still leading the division.
Both teams are knotted for the AL East lead and the second Wild Card spot, with the Rays three games back in each race. The Yankees have five more games remaining against playoff hopefuls -- two this weekend against Tampa Bay, and then a three game series next weekend against the A's at Yankee Stadium.
All but three of their first 13 games in September came against AL East competitors Baltimore and Tampa Bay, but 13 of their final 18 games are against teams with losing records: Boston, Minnesota and Toronto.
"We're playing some good teams, we're facing good pitching," Derek Jeter said after Friday's loss to the Rays. "They played better than us tonight. When you don't play better than the other team, more often than not, you're going to lose. They beat us tonight, but we come right back because our schedule's tough. Tampa -- they're fighting for a playoff spot, as well, and they're playing well."
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 games 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 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 division record will be the next tiebreaker.