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

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

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Braves' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 13, 2012
MILWAUKEE -- With a 5 1/2-game lead in the National League Wild Card race, the Braves are comfortably ahead. But they missed a chance this week to potentially distance themselves further from the rest of the teams in the race. After winning five straight, they were swept in a three-game series by the Brewers. The Braves were fortunate that the only real impact of the losses was dropping to 8 1/2 games behind the NL East-leading Nationals.

"We're lucky to be where we are," said veteran third baseman Chipper Jones after an 8-2 loss Wednesday night. "We're in the same position that we were at the beginning of the day. ... I'd much rather be 5 1/2 games up than 5 1/2 games back."

Following an off-day on Thursday, the Braves will host the Nationals for a big three-game weekend series. After coming up with just three runs and one extra-base hit over three games in Milwaukee, the Braves need to get their offense back on track to put a stop to their losing streak.

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

Phillies (Cloyd, 1-1) at Astros (Harrell, 10-9), 8:05 p.m. Preview >

Cardinals (Lynn, 17-6) 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 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

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

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