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D-backs' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 17, 2012

D-backs' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 17, 2012

D-backs' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 17, 2012
PHOENIX -- Even though the D-backs defeated the Giants on Sunday, 10-2, the club remained 4 1/2 games back of the second National League Wild Card spot.

Tied at the beginning of the day Sunday, the Cardinals defeated the Dodgers in Los Angeles in extra innings to take over sole possession of the final NL playoff spot.

With 16 games remaining in the regular season, Arizona still needs to jump five teams in order to claim a position in the postseason. The Dodgers, Cardinals, Pirates, Phillies and Brewers all boast better records than the D-backs.

After an off-day Monday, D-backs ace Ian Kennedy will take the mound Tuesday against the Padres at Chase Field. Arizona has lost eight of its last nine games against San Diego, including six consecutive at home.

Only three of the D-backs' remaining contests are against teams with a record above .500.

Monday's key games to watch (all times MST)

Phillies (Lee, 5-7) at Mets (Dickey, 18-5), 4:10 p.m. Preview >

Pirates (Correia, 10-9) at Cubs (Wood, 6-11), 5:10 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

Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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