Reds' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 13, 2012

Reds' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 13, 2012

Reds' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 13, 2012
The Reds are gaining more and more momentum toward an inevitable National League Central clinch.

A 2-1 victory over the Pirates on Wednesday made it a three-game sweep in the series and put Cincinnati 30 games over .500 at 87-57.

The Reds have the Majors' largest division lead at 11 1/2 games over the Cardinals with a magic number to clinch at eight with 18 games remaining. St. Louis was swept in three games at San Diego.

"It was a nice sweep," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "We're one step closer to winning the division. We'll keep playing like we're playing."

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

Cardinals (Lynn, 14-7) at Dodgers (Beckett, 6-13), 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 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 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

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.