Dodgers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 29, 2012

Dodgers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 29, 2012

Dodgers' Path to the Postseason: Sept. 29, 2012
LOS ANGELES -- Aided by eight shutout innings from Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers defeated the Rockies, 8-0, Friday night for their third straight win.

But there wasn't much celebrating at Dodger Stadium, with the Cardinals routing the Nationals earlier in the evening to keep Los Angeles three games back for the final National League Wild Card spot.

With only five games remaining, the Dodgers' playoff hopes are slim. They have two more left against the Rockies before hosting the Giants for the final three games of the regular season.

The Cardinals, who have a clinching magic number of three, face the Nationals and Reds to end the season, and all the Dodgers can do is try to win out and hope for the best.

"We are playing great baseball right now," Kershaw said. "It's a cliche and everybody says it, but we've got to come up with more wins. That is what we've got to do."

Saturday's key games to watch (all times PT)

Nationals (Zimmermann, 12-8) at Cardinals (Lohse, 16-3), 4:15 p.m. Preview >

Astros (Keuchel, 3-7) at Brewers (Estrada, 4-7), 4:10 p.m. Preview >

Rockies (Chatwood, 5-5) at Dodgers (Blanton, 9-13), 6:10 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

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