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Big League Stew

2012 MLB playoff schedule: Postseason set

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

(AP)

It's official. With Baltimore's 4-1 loss to Tampa Bay clinching the AL East title for the New York Yankees on Wednesday night, we finally know what the postseason matchups are going to look like.

Or at least, we mostly do. The debut of the wild-card play-in games means that the top seeds in each league — the Yankees and the NL East champion Washington Nationals — won't know their first-round opponent until those games conclude on Friday night.

But here's what we do know: The Baltimore Orioles will travel to Texas to play the Rangers in the AL wild-card play-in game on Friday night while the Atlanta Braves will host the St. Louis Cardinals earlier in the day. The winner advances to the LDS round and will host the first two games while the loser heads home to debate the relative merits and honor of being a playoff team for all of one game.

[Related: How Oakland won the west]

Meanwhile, the two mid-seed matchups are already set. The NL Central champion Cincinnati Reds will face Dusty Baker's old squad, the NL West champion San Francisco Giants while the AL Central champion Detroit Tigers get the relative honor of trying to cool down the Oakland A's after they blitzed their way to the AL West title.

Here's the full playoff schedule for the wild-card and LDS rounds:

(all times TBD unless listed, all games broadcast on TBS )

Friday's wild card play-in games
(winners advance to LDS round)
NL — St. Louis Cardinals at Atlanta Braves, 5 p.m. ET
AL — Baltimore Orioles at Texas Rangers, 8:30 p.m. ET

Saturday
ALDS Game 1 — Oakland Athletics at Detroit Tigers, 6 p.m. ET
NLDS Game 1 — Cincinnati Reds at San Francisco Giants, 9:30 p.m. ET

Sunday
ALDS Game 1 New York Yankees at Baltimore or Texas
NLDS Game 1 — Washington Nationals at Atlanta or St. Louis
ALDS Game 2 — Oakland at Detroit
NLDS Game 2 — Cincinnati at San Francisco

Monday
ALDS Game 2 — New York at Baltimore/Texas
NLDS Game 2 — Washington at Atlanta/St. Louis

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Tuesday
ALDS Game 3 — Detroit at Oakland
NLDS Game 3 — San Francisco at Cincinnati

Wednesday
ALDS Game 3 — Baltimore/Texas at NY
ALDS Game 4* — Detroit at Oakland
NLDS Game 3 —  Atlanta/St. Louis at Washington
NLDS Game 4* — San Francisco at Cincinnati

Thursday
ALDS Game 4* — Baltimore/Texas at New York
ALDS Game 5* — Detroit at Oakland
NLDS Game 4* — Atlanta/St. Louis at Washington
NLDS Game 5*  — San Francisco at Cincinnati

Friday
ALDS Game 5* — Baltimore/Texas at New York
NLDS Game 5* — Atlanta/St. Louis at Washington

* If necessary, all series are best of five

Are you ready for the postseason?
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