Rays' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 15, 2012

Rays' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 15, 2012

Rays' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 15, 2012
NEW YORK -- The Rays got a much-needed victory at Yankee Stadium on Friday night, thanks to the efforts of ace lefty and Cy Young candidate David Price, capitalizing on an opportunity to gain ground on one of the American League East leaders themselves.

With the 6-4 win against the Yankees, Tampa Bay moved to within three back of New York and Baltimore in the AL East and the Wild Card.

The Rays were happy to start the series against the Yankees on the right foot.

"It was huge," said catcher Chris Gimenez. "Coming off [being swept by the Orioles this weekend], we needed to take a couple out of here. Just for, mentally, our sake, it's big to have a couple wins here. All you can do is put yourself in the situation -- we know we can take care of our business now and hopefully we don't have to do anything crazy later."

Wells Fargo

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

Rays (Shields, 14-8) at Yankees (Nova, 11-7), 4:05 p.m. Preview >
Angels (Greinke, 5-2) at Royals (Guthrie, 4-3), 7:10 p.m. Preview >
Orioles (Britton, 5-2) at A's (Parker, 10-8), 9:05 p.m. Preview >

If the postseason started today ...

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Wild Card: Second Wild Card at First Wild Card
Division Series: Second-best AL record vs. Third-best AL record | Best AL record at Wild Card winner

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Wild Card: Second Wild Card at First Wild Card
Division Series: Second-best NL record vs. Third-best NL record | Best NL record at Wild Card winner

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 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.

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

Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.