Orioles' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 25, 2012

Orioles' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 25, 2012

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles split a doubleheader with the Blue Jays on Monday, winning the opener, 4-1, and losing the nightcap, 9-5. Steve Johnson threw five shutout innings in the first game, and the Orioles got homers from Adam Jones and Ryan Flaherty.

The split left the Orioles 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees in the American League East. Baltimore leads the Wild Card race by 1 1/2 games over Oakland. The Orioles wanted a twin-bill sweep but knew it wasn't an easy task.

Wells Fargo

"Very hard to sweep a doubleheader in the Major Leagues," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "It wasn't from a lack of effort. That's why when you get a rainout, you try to play because you know the challenge ahead of you somewhere down the line."

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

Blue Jays (Laffey, 3-6) at Orioles (Saunders, 2-2), 7:05 p.m. Preview >

Yankees (Hughes, 16-12) at Twins (Vasquez, 0-2), 8:10 p.m. Preview >

A's (Milone, 13-10) at Rangers (Darvish, 16-9), 8:05 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

Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.