The Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox are in fairly urgent situations. Both lost their American League Division Series openers and know that dropping a second straight game would not be good for their postseason aspirations.

The Rangers will try to even their series with the Toronto Blue Jays by sending Yu Darvish to the mound Friday afternoon (1:08 p.m. ET, TBS) against 20-game winner J.A. Happ.

Game 1 of the series was disastrous for the home team. The Blue Jays scored five runs in the top of the third inning and then rolled to a 10-1 victory over Texas ace Cole Hamels. The big bats of Jose Bautista (three-run home run) and Troy Tulowitizki (bases-loaded triple) were booming for the Blue Jays, while Texas could do very little with Marco Estrada.

The Toronto starter pitched 8.1 innings before manager John Gibbons pulled him after giving up four hits, striking out six and not walking a batter.

More than anything, the Texas offense will need to come alive. The Rangers were a resounding 53-28 at home this season, as players like Ian Desmond (22 HR, 86 RBI), Carlos Beltran (seven HR since being traded at the deadline by the New York Yankees), Adrian Beltre (32 HR and 104 RBI) and Rougned Odor (.502 slugging percentage, 33 HR) were able to come up with key hits on a regular basis.

Happ will not be easy for the Rangers to solve. He was 20-4 with a 3.18 ERA and a solid 1.169 WHIP, and he also was an impressive 9-2 on the road.

Darvish was 10-7 with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.261 WHIP in his 22 starts this year. The 30-year-old Japanese pitcher was 6-2 at home this year, but his ERA jumped to 4.26 at Globe Life Park.

The Red Sox are depending on David Price to even their series with the Indians after Game 1 starter Rick Porcello gave up three home runs in the third inning and Boston dropped a 5-4 decision.

Price comes into Game 2 of the series (4:38 p.m ET, TBS) with a 2-7 lifetime postseason record, which almost certainly means that there will be some uneasiness in the Red Sox dugout.

Price was somewhat inconsistent throughout the first half of the season but was much better after the All-Star break, going 8-3 with a 3.58 ERA.

Price told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that he was unconcerned about his unimpressive postseason record:

I just want to help this team win.That’s the bottom line. That’s the mind-set I want to take out there on the fifth day. And that’s the mind-set I want my teammates to have. I want to be dominant. I want to have that really good postseason game and I know that I’m capable of doing that and I’m excited to pitch [Friday].

Price’s opponent will be Cleveland ace Corey Kluber, who was 18-9 with a 3.14 ERA and a sharp 1.056 WHIP.

The only issue for Kluber is that it has been nearly two weeks since he last pitched as a result of a quadriceps strain. Kluber said he is feeling good and told Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe that he is not worried about being rusty.

The Rangers and Red Sox are not in must-win positions just yet, but both teams need to pick it up considerably after coming up with less than their best efforts in the first games of their respective series.


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