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

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

LOS ANGELES -- After a grueling 12-inning game on Sunday that featured a franchise-record 10 pitchers used by the Dodgers, the team gets a much needed day off Monday before a nine-game road trip.

Unfortunately for the Dodgers, thanks to three runs allowed in the 12th inning by John Ely, they head into that stretch one game behind St. Louis for the final National League Wild Card spot.

Los Angeles will take on a pair of first-place teams, the Nationals and Reds, before facing the dangerously hot Padres. As for the Cardinals, their schedule seemingly gets much easier with series against the Astros and Cubs.

"We're fighting," Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp said. "Every game we are going to fight until the end. It doesn't matter who we play. We have a tough road coming up. We're going to be in every game and try to win as many games as we can."

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

Braves (Hudson, 14-6) at Marlins (LeBlanc, 2-4), 7:10 p.m. Preview>

Phillies (Lee, 5-7) at Mets (Dickey, 18-5), 7:10 p.m. Preview >

Pirates (Correia, 10-9) at Cubs (Wood, 6-11), 8:10 p.m. Preview >

Rockies (Chacin, 2-5) at Giants (Bumgarner 14-10), 10:15 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

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