Playoff Schedule Set for Nationals, Orioles

Baseball's postseason kicks off this weekend.

Major League Baseball's 2012 regular season is officially in the books, and for the first time ever, the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles are both in the playoffs.

The O's fell 4-1 to the Tampa Bay Rays Wednesday in Florida, knocking Baltimore out of contention for the American League East title. They'll head to Texas for Friday night's wild card playoff after the Rangers surrendered first place in the AL West this week by dropping three straight to the Oakland Athletics.

Wednesday's loss also deprived Baltimore of a guaranteed home playoff game, as the Rangers—who matched the O's 93-69 season total—have a better head-to-head record against the Orioles (5-2).

A win on Friday would pit the Orioles against the rival New York Yankees in the American League Division Series, with the first two games being played in Baltimore beginning Sunday. A loss, of course, would mean a quick end to the Orioles' improbable run.

Meanwhile, the Nats wrapped up the top seed in the National League yesterday with a 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, taking them to 98-64 on the season. They'll go on the road Sunday to face the winner of Friday's one-game wild card playoff between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves.

The best-of-five National League Division Series will then come to Washington Wednesday for one to three games, depending on how many wins each team racks up. The winner of that round will face the winner of San Francisco and Cincinnati for a World Series berth.

Below, find the playoff schedule for the first two rounds of the posteason. Many of the starting times have yet to be determined, and games marked with an asterisk won't be played if the series has already been decided.

National League Wild Card

  • Friday, Oct. 5: St. Louis Cardinals at Atlanta Braves (5:07 p.m.)

American League Wild Card

  • Friday, Oct. 5: Baltimore Orioles at Texas Rangers (8:37 p.m.)

National League Division Series

  • Game 1 | Saturday, Oct. 6: Cincinnati Reds at San Francisco Giants (9:37 p.m.)
  • Game 2 | Sunday, Oct. 7: Cincinnati at San Francisco
  • Game 3 | Tuesday, Oct. 9: San Francisco at Cincinnati
  • Game 4 | Wednesday, Oct. 10: San Francisco at Cincinnati*
  • Game 5 | Thursday, Oct. 11: San Francisco at Cincinnati*
  • Game 1 | Sunday, Oct. 7: Washington Nationals at Atlanta/St. Louis
  • Game 2 | Monday, Oct. 8: Washington at Atlanta/St. Louis
  • Game 3 | Wednesday, Oct. 10: Atlanta/St. Louis at Washington
  • Game 4 | Thursday, Oct. 11: Atlanta/St. Louis at Washington*
  • Game 5 | Friday, Oct. 12: Atlanta/St. Louis at Washington*

American League Division Series

  • Game 1 | Saturday, Oct. 6: Oakland Athletics at Detroit Tigers (6:07 p.m.)
  • Game 2 | Sunday, Oct. 7: Oakland at Detroit
  • Game 3 | Tuesday, Oct. 9: Detroit at Oakland
  • Game 4 | Wednesday, Oct. 10: Detroit at Oakland*
  • Game 5 | Thursday, Oct. 11: Detroit at Oakland*
  • Game 1 | Sunday, Oct. 7: New York Yankees at Texas/Baltimore
  • Game 2 | Monday, Oct. 8: New York at Texas/Baltimore
  • Game 3 | Wednesday, Oct. 10: Texas/Baltimore at New York
  • Game 4 | Thursday, Oct. 11: Texas/Baltimore at New York*
  • Game 5 | Friday, Oct. 12: Texas/Baltimore at New York*

Baseball fans, how are you planning to take in the playoffs? Let us know in the comments.


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