Rays' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 26, 2012

Rays' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 26, 2012

BOSTON -- The Rays are doing their best not to rely on outside assistance to make the playoffs.

Tampa Bay won its sixth straight Tuesday, a 5-2 victory over the Red Sox, and carry the Majors' longest win streak into play Wednesday.

"Probably [will] need a little bit of help," said ace David Price, who won his 19th game with a complete game, "but if we can continue to play the way we've been playing the last six or seven games, we can do something."

The Rays (84-70) remain three games out of an American League Wild Card spot, with the Angels the only other team between them and the two current leaders, the Orioles (88-67) and Oakland (87-67). The O's lost to Toronto on Tuesday, 4-0, while the A's won, 3-2, in 10 innings over Texas.

Baltimore has lost two in a row.

The Rays also have a slim shot at an AL East title. They're five games behind the Yankees (89-65), who fell to the Twins, 5-4. Tampa Bay's elimination number in the division -- the combined number of wins for the Yankees and losses for the Rays to be knocked out from the AL East race -- is four.

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

Yankees (Sabathia, 13-6) at Twins (Deduno, 6-5), 1:10 p.m. Preview >

Royals (Guthrie, 7-12) at Tigers (Porcello, 9-12), 7:05 p.m. Preview >

Blue Jays (Villanueva, 7-6) at Orioles (Gonzalez, 7-4), 7:05 p.m. Preview >

A's (Parker, 11-8) at Rangers (Perez, 1-2), 8:05 p.m. Preview >

Indians (Masterson, 11-15) at White Sox (Santiago, 3-1), 8:10 p.m. Preview >

Mariners (Hernandez, 13-8) at Angels (Wilson, 12-10), 10:05 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 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

Evan Drellich is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @EvanDrellich. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.