09/27/12 11:32 PM ET
Nationals' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 28, 2012
By Joey Nowak / MLB.com
The Nats have realized they can't count on Atlanta to lose -- the Braves have won 10 of 12 after sweeping the Marlins -- but just three more wins can seal the deal. A big series in St. Louis looms, with the Cardinals (Wild Card) and Nationals (NL East) both looking to clinch.
"I always take nothing for granted," manager Davey Johnson said. "And I know if we win three more, we're in, we win the pennant. That's all I want everybody in that room to figure on."
Friday's key games to watch (all times ET)
Nationals (Jackson, 9-10) at Cardinals (Wainwright, 13-12), 8:15 p.m. Preview >
Mets (Niese, 12-9) at Braves (Hudson, 16-6), 7:35 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