That said, the Bronx Bombers did secure a postseason berth on Sunday night when the Angels lost their nightcap with the Rangers. Earlier in the day, New York retained its share of first place in the division with a 9-6 victory over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, keeping pace with the Orioles, who posted a 6-3 win over the Red Sox at Camden Yards.
"This team wants to win the division, that's it," Nick Swisher said. "I don't think in the history of Yankee baseball we've shot for the Wild Card. That's not how we get down over here. This city, this team expects to win, and that's what I expect us to go out and do."
New York's magic number to win the AL East rests at four entering its final series of the year, a three-game set against the Red Sox starting on Monday. The Orioles must head to Tropicana Field to wrap up the regular season against the Rays.
"We're trying to win games, we're trying to win the division," Derek Jeter said. "That's what we're always trying to do. If we play our games and we win our games, we'll be where we want to be. That's the only thing we're concerned with now."
Monday's key games to watch (all times ET)
Red Sox (Buchholz, 11-7) at Yankees (Sabathia, 14-6), 7:05 p.m. Preview >
Orioles (Chen, 12-10) at Rays (Cobb, 10-9), 7:10 p.m. Preview >
Rangers (Perez, 1-3) at A's (Parker, 12-8), 10:05 p.m. Preview >
Angels (Wilson, 12-10) at Mariners (Hernandez, 13-8), 10:10 p.m. Preview >
If the postseason started today ...
This is how the teams would match up: Postseason Bracket »
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.
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.
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