Giants' Path to the Posteason: Sept. 13, 2012

Giants' Path to the Posteason: Sept. 13, 2012

DENVER -- The Giants improved their standing to a season-high seven-game lead in the National League West division race, beating the Rockies, 8-3, in Colorado as the second-place Dodgers fell, 3-2, in Arizona. The Giants play the rest of the season in their division and head next to Arizona to face the only other team in the West that has a winning record within the division.

"We got our work cut out," manager Bruce Bochy said. "It's the old adage: a game at a time. You never stop that. You got to keep grinding here. We're going to a tough place to play a good club. We go home, and we're playing good teams there. You look at this division and there's some teams playing very well. San Diego is beating everybody. Arizona just won a couple [against the Dodgers]. It's going to be important to play well."

The Giants' magic number stands at 13, giving them a shot at clinching the division in the latter part of their Sept. 17-27 homestand, when they host the Rockies, Padres and D-backs. The seven-game lead should provide a margin for error and a comfortable cushion, but San Francisco is not taking it for granted.

"It's a good start," shortstop Brandon Crawford said. "We still have 19 to play, though."

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

Cardinals (Lynn, 14-7) at Dodgers (Beckett, 6-13), 7:10 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

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