Giants' Path to the Posteason: Sept. 17, 2012

Giants' Path to the Posteason: Sept. 17, 2012

PHOENIX -- A 10-game homestand beginning Monday should give the Giants an excellent opportunity to clinch the National League West title in front of friendly fans at AT&T Park. Should.

San Francisco, which opens the homestand with a four-game series against Colorado, actually has played better on the road (43-32, .573) than at home (40-31, .563). But, at this stage, even a .500 homestand would bring the Giants significantly closer to their second division crown in three years. Their magic number (combination of San Francisco victories and Los Angeles defeats) for ending the West race has dwindled to nine.

The Giants are 10-4 against the Rockies this season, but only 3-2 at AT&T Park.

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

Dodgers: Off

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

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.