The Angels blew another opportunity to gain ground on the American League Wild Card leaders on Wednesday night, falling, 4-1, to the A's to give them three straight losses after going a Major League-best 15-3 heading into the week. The Angels' offense, one of the best in baseball since the start of May, has totaled seven runs in the first three games of this series while getting stifled by three rookie starters.

With the Orioles winning back-to-back games against the Rays, the Angels are now 3 1/2 games back of the second AL Wild Card spot. They finish up against the A's on Thursday, then play a weekend series in Kansas City before coming home to host the AL West-leading Rangers on Tuesday.

If the Angels are going to put together another run, they'll have to do it within these last 19 games.

"We have to concentrate on just coming out here, trying to win a game tomorrow, then going to Kansas City and trying to win a series," Angels slugger Albert Pujols said. "We can't focus on the things we can't control. We have to focus on the things we can control, which is playing well and trying to win."

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

A's (Anderson, 4-0-6) at Angels (Weaver, 16-4), 12:35 p.m. Preview >

Rays (Hellickson, 8-10) at Baltimore (Chen, 12-9), 9:35 a.m. Preview >

Yankees (Hughes, 14-12) at Red Sox (Doubront, 8-10), 4:10 p.m. Preview >

Indians (McAllister, 5-7) at Rangers (Holland, 10-6, 8-10), 5:05 p.m. Preview >

Tigers (Verlander, 13-8) at White Sox (Sale, 16-6), 5:10 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