Rays' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 19, 2012

Rays' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 19, 2012

Rays' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 19, 2012
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays took a 7-5 loss to the Red Sox on Tuesday night, losing for the seventh time in their last eight games and digging a deeper hole for their pursuit to reach the postseason.

With 14 games left, the Rays trail the Yankees, who were rained out Tuesday and will play a twin bill vs. the Blue Jays on Wednesday, by six games in the American League East. In the AL Wild Card race, the setback put Tampa Bay six games behind Baltimore after the O's beat the Mariners in 18 innings.

The Rays now face a situation in which they are nine games from being eliminated in both playoff scenarios.

"We're just not playing our best baseball," manager Joe Maddon said.

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

A's (Anderson, 4-1) at Tigers (Verlander, 14-8), 7:05 p.m. Preview >

Blue Jays (Alvarez, 9-12) at Yankees (Pettitte, 3-3), 1:05 p.m. (Game 1) Preview >

Blue Jays (Romero, 8-14) at Yankees (Phelps, 4-4), 7:05 p.m. (Game 2) Preview >

Orioles (Saunders, 8-12) at Mariners (Hernandez, 13-8), 10:10 p.m. Preview >

Rangers (Holland, 10-6) at Angels (Wilson, 12-9), 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

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.