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September 26, 2013

Looking at Rangers different playoff scenarios

The Texas Rangers are on the outside looking in right now. If the season ended today, they would fall one game short of making a fourth consecutive postseason. Tampa Bay is two games ahead in the wild card standings, and Cleveland is a game ahead.

But there are four games left and the Rangers still have a chance to extend their season. They open a season-ending four-game series against the Angels tonight.

Here's a look at how MLB would handle various tiebreak scenarios for the Rangers, Indians and Rays.

All three tie for both wild card spots: The teams would be seeded based on their cumulative records against each other, which means the No. 1 seed would go to the Indians (7-5); the No. 2 seed to the Rays (7-6) and the No. 3 seed to the Rangers (5-8).

Cleveland would have the choice to choose an A, B or C designation. In this scenario, Club A would host Club B for one wild card spot, and the loser would travel to play Club C. So, of course, the Indians would take the 'A' designation.

The Rays would have an interesting decision -- try to win one of two games on the road, or sit back at home and wait for the loser to come to town for a one-game showdown? The Rangers are left with the final route.

Once the two wild cards are decided, they would meet in the one-game wild card round. The home team would be determined by the season series. If the Rangers and Rays are the two wild card teams, Texas would host the wild card game after going 4-3 against Tampa Bay this season. If it's the Rangers and Indians, Texas would be at Cleveland after the Tribe went 5-1.

Two teams tie for second wild card: Again, the home team would be determined by season series. The Rangers would be at home against the Rays, and on the road against the Indians. The winner, of course, would be on the road for the wild card round.

-- Drew Davison

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