SPORTS

MLB Playoffs 2012: Washington Nationals playoff scenarios

Washington Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (25) is doused as he is interviewed by a television reporter, right, during the Nationals' celebration after clutching the National League East division title following their baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Washington, Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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Now that the Nationals have clinched the National League East, the work isn't over.

The Major League Baseball playoffs will begin on the road for the Nationals due to a scheduling quirk this season, but that's all we really know about their schedule at this point.

Over the next two days, several different scenarios can play out when it comes to the Nationals and who they would play in the National League Division Series.

Washington and the Cincinnati Reds both own records of 96-64, which leaves them tied for the National League's best record.

If the Nationals finish with the best record in the NL, they will face the winner of the National League Wild Card game, which is likely to be between the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals. Finishing with the best record would also assure Washington home-field advantage throughout the entire MLB playoffs.

If the Nationals finish with the NL's second-best record, they will play the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS.

In both instances, the Nationals would begin the Division Series with two games on the road. Games 3, 4 and 5 would shift back to Nationals Park for the conclusion of the best-of-5 series.

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