Angels' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 17, 2012

Angels' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 17, 2012

Angels' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 17, 2012
KANSAS CITY -- The Angels bounced back from a stunning loss on Saturday night to beat the Royals, 4-3, on Sunday and win the series at Kauffman Stadium. Mark Trumbo's three-run homer in the second inning was his first since Aug. 21, and put the Angels up 4-3. A great effort from the bullpen held the lead and sent the Angels back to Anaheim winners.

Despite the win, the Angels remained 2 1/2 games behind the Orioles in the Wild Card race due to Baltimore's 9-5 win at Oakland.

The Angels kick off a nine-game homestand on Tuesday as they start a series with the American League West-leading Rangers. The Angels are 7-6 against their division rivals this season. Jered Weaver opposes Ryan Dempster in the series opener.

"Forget winning series, we're talking about winning every pitch. That's where we are," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "The only thing we can control is how we play. I think these last 25, 30 games, we've seen glimpses of the way we can play, but we need to bring it for the last 15. We need to have that pitch-to-pitch focus right now. As we get down into these last couple weeks, we might be in a situation where we need some help, but the best way for us to pressure other teams is to keep winning. Hopefully, we're going to keep doing that."

Wells Fargo

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

Tigers (Fister, 9-8) at White Sox (Quintana, 6-4), 2:10 p.m. Preview >

Red Sox (TBA) at Rays (Cobb, 9-8), 7:10 p.m. Preview >

Orioles (Tillman, 7-2) at Mariners (Noesi, 2-11), 10:10 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 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

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