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AL Wild Card Games 1 Gamethread (Rangers at Rays, Blue Jays at Twins)

Double the trouble, double the fun

It is October, and postseason baseball is finally here! Twelve teams vie for a shot at World Series glory, but only one will reach the promised land.

Opening our slate of games on the American League side, the Texas Rangers (90-72) take on the Tampa Bay Rays (99-63) at Tropicana Field in St Pete. Texas survived a dogfight in the AL West to finish as the second Wild Card team. Tampa Bay succumbed the youthful juggernaut Orioles to take the top Wild Card spot in the AL.

The Rays led the American League with an OPS+ of 114, one point ahead of the Rangers’ 113. Texas’ run differential of +165 was second only to the home team Rays, who led the AL at +195.

Your starting pitchers this afternoon in Tampa Bay:

Jordan Montgomery (10-11, 3.20 ERA) vs Tyler Glasnow (10-7, 3.53 ERA)

Your lineups for both sides:

This afternoon’s game starts at 2:08 p.m. CT and can be watched on ABC.

The second AL matchup features the 89-73 Toronto Blue Jays taking on the 87-75 AL Central Champion Minnesota Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis.

The Blue Jays came on strong in September to climb back into the Wild Card hunt, finishing in the third AL Wild Card spot. The Twins pulled away from the pack in a wretched AL Central division, and can thank their geography for landing them in the postseason with the worst record of any team in the playoffs. Minnesota sports a Top 10 offense despite their mediocre record, and a +119 run differential. The Jays have a Top 5 team ERA at 3.78, and their starting pitching carried them down the stretch.

Your starting pitchers in Minneapolis this afternoon:

Pablo López (11-8, 3.88 ERA) vs Kevin Gausman (12-9, 3.16 ERA)

Your lineups for both sides:

This afternoon’s game starts at 3:38 p.m. CT and can be watched on ESPN.

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