ARLINGTON -- With their 9-7 win against the A's on Thursday, the Rangers earned a split of the series and have a four-game lead in the American League West with six games left. Their magic number to win the AL West is down to three. The Rangers' magic number to clinch a playoff berth is one.
"This team knows where to turn our only focus," Rangers infielder Michael Young said. "We're going to be doing the same thing tomorrow, focusing on winning that next game. We know what it takes."
Next up is the Angels for three games and a tough pitching trio to face in Jered Weaver, Ervin Santana and Zack Greinke. The Rangers will counter with Ryan Dempster, Derek Holland and hopefully Yu Darvish, who missed his start on Tuesday with a stiff neck.
Today's key games to watch (all times ET)
Angels (Weaver, 19-4) at Rangers (Dempster, 12-7), 8:05 p.m. Preview >
Mariners (Beavan, 10-10) at A's (Griffin, 6-1), 10:05 p.m. Preview >
If the postseason started today ...
This is how the teams would match up: Postseason Bracket »
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.
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.
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
Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.