Perhaps the most evenly matched series will start in St. Petersburg on Wednesday. Let’s take a look at the Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers series at a glance…




Game 1: Wednesday, Oct. 6 at 1:37 PM est. Cliff Lee vs. David Price

Game 2: Thursday, Oct. 7 at 2:37 PM est. C.J. Wilson vs. James Shields

Game 3: Saturday, Oct. 9 at 5:07 PM est. Matt Garza vs. Colby Lewis

*Game 4: Sunday, Oct. 10 at 1:07 PM est. Wade Davis vs. Tommy Hunter

*Game 5: Tuesday, Oct. 12 at TBD.

*Denotes If Necessary


Season Series

Rays 4-2



This might be the most evenly matched series of the postseason and the series I am looking forward to the most. Sadly, because Major League Baseball feels the Rays and Rangers won’t draw ratings, this series is buried on TV.

Regardless, this should be a fantastic series.

Game One of this series might feature the best pitching matchup of the first round of any series. Cliff Lee (12-9, 3.18 ERA) versus David Price (19-6, 2.72 ERA) is a must watch for any fan of pitching and of baseball in general. While I thought Game One would decide the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins series, I don’t feel that way about this series.

I think this series goes five games. That means that this series will come down to each team’s third and fourth starters. If it stands and the matchups are Garza and Davis against Lewis and Hunter, I will give the edge to the Rays.

Davis was 6-1 in the second half with a 3.28 ERA and pitched very well down the stretch. Garza can be hit or miss, but he sold me when he dashed the Boston Red Sox hopes in Game Seven of the 2008 ALCS. Garza was also 2-0 with 2.84 ERA against the Rangers this season.

Offensively, the question I have for the Rays is will Evan Longoria be able to produce at a high level? He hasn’t played in over a week and if he doesn’t hit, where is the offense going to come from in this lineup?

As for the Rangers, I believe this is the best team they have ever had from top to bottom. But is it enough to get by the Rays? I am not so sure.

I just really have my doubts about Lewis and Hunter in those third and fourth games. If the Rangers are to win those games, they might just have to out-slug the Rays, which they can certainly do.

Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz are healthy and with Michael Young, Vladimir Guerrero, and Josh Hamilton leading the way, this lineup is ridiculously scary.

The key for the Rangers lineup for me is Elvis Andrus. Can he get on and set the table for the Ranger big hitters? He did bat .350 in 20 ABs against the Rays this season and if he can do that and wreak havoc on the base paths, the Rays will be in trouble.

As for the bullpens, this is a very even matchup. The Rays ranked first in bullpen ERA in the American League and the Rangers ranked second.

Key matchups to look for late in the games—Darren Oliver versus Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena. Randy Choate versus Hamilton.

I fully expect this series to go five games and in the end, I think with home-field advantage and Price going twice, the Rays will put it out.

Rays in five.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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