by Bodog Sportsbook
After a truly epic night of baseball and an amazing comeback by the Tampa Bay Rays, the American League best-of-five Division Series matchups are official and begin Friday when Tampa Bay visits Texas in a rematch of one of last year’s ALDS and the New York Yankees host the Detroit Tigers. Bet on both series now on Bodog Sportsbook’s MLB ALDS baseball odds.
Texas beat Tampa Bay in five games in last year’s ALDS but the Rangers had Cliff Lee to win two of those games. Both the Texas Rangers and Rays enter on fire. Tampa Bay has won five in a row and was 32-17 since Aug. 8 to overtake Boston for the AL wild card. The Rangers, meanwhile, won their final six games and 14 of their final 16 to take the AL West for the second year in a row. Texas also had the AL's second-best second-half winning percentage and set a franchise record with 96 wins.
In the season series, the Rangers had the advantage 5-4. Tampa Bay still hasn’t announced who it will start in Game 1 as it used its three best pitchers – James Shields, Jeremy Hellickson and David Price – in its final three games against the Yankees. It’s possible but unlikely Shields could come back on three days’ rest. Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon will announce his starter later today. Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann are candidates, as is rookie Matt Moore. Texas goes with lefty C.J. Wilson. He was 1-2 with a 3.70 ERA in four starts last season in the playoffs. And he's particularly tough against the Rays, going 4-0 with a 2.25 ERA in 17 career appearances (four starts).
The Yankees, meanwhile, have the unenviable task of opening against Tigers ace and Cy Young lock Justin Verlander on Friday. However, Verlander had two no-decisions with a 4.50 ERA, .250 average against and an uncharacteristic eight walks in 12 innings against New York in the regular season. The Yanks have their ace, CC Sabathia, in the opener. The Yankees are 7-1 in Sabathia's eight postseason starts. Detroit and New York haven’t played each other since early May.
c.j. wilson - cc sabathia - cliff lee - cy young - david price - detroit tigers - james shields - jeff niemann - jeremy hellickson - joe maddon