NEW YORK -- The A's came through their series against the Yankees with their hold on the second American League Wild Card spot intact, and they will spend the next four days trying to make a dent in the standings against the first-place Rangers.

Oakland leads the Angels by 2 1/2 games in the Wild Card race, and it will play seven of its final 10 games against the Rangers. That means that the A's can still harbor hopes of winning the AL West.

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"We're going to go in there and we're going to be three or four games back. That's the reality of it," said closer Grant Balfour. "Whatever it is, we know we've got an opportunity to play them seven times and to win seven games. They're a tough team. We know that. I'm not taking anything away from them. They've been good for a long time and I respect that. But I'm going to go in there with a lot of confidence. We're all going to go in there with a lot of confidence and we're going to play them tough."

The A's, despite a rough week, are still the hottest team in the AL since the All-Star break. Oakland has gone a league-best 43-23 since the season's intermission, and it's gone 6-6 against Texas this season.

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

A's (Straily, 2-1) at Rangers (Holland, 11-6), 8:05 p.m. Preview >

Game 1: Blue Jays (Alvarez, 9-13) at Orioles (Johnson, 3-0), 4:05 p.m. Preview >

Game 2: Blue Jays (Romero, 8-14) at Orioles (Chen, 12-9) Preview >

Mariners (Ramirez, 1-2) at Angels (Greinke, 14-5), 10:05 p.m. 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