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Dodgers' Path to the Postseason: Oct. 2, 2012

Dodgers' Path to the Postseason: Oct. 2, 2012

Dodgers' Path to the Postseason: Oct. 2, 2012
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers' playoff hopes are hanging by a thread heading into the final two games of the regular season, despite defeating the Giants, 3-2, with a walk-off single by Elian Herrera for the team's sixth straight win.

Thanks to a Cardinals victory, the Dodgers need to win out and hope St. Louis loses both its last two games to the Reds. One more loss or St. Louis win means the Dodgers' chances of sneaking into the postseason are officially over.

If the unlikely scenario plays out in the Dodgers' favor, Los Angeles would host a tiebreaker at home Thursday. However, that remains a big if at this point.

In the meantime, the Dodgers have shown they aren't going to just roll over without putting pressure on the Cardinals.

"We're still in this," catcher A.J. Ellis said. "[The Cardinals] are playing a strong team that is still fighting for home-field advantage in the playoffs and a bitter rival at that. It's definitely not over. The Reds have a lot to play for and so do the Cardinals. We are out here watching and hoping to take advantage of it."

Tuesday's key games to watch

Reds (Latos, 13-4) at Cardinals (Carpenter, 0-1), 5:15 p.m. PT Preview >

If the postseason started today ...

This is how the teams would match up: 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

Complete schedule »

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

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{"content":["path_to_the_postseason" ] }