Opening Day of the MLB Post-Season begins with the Texas Rangers coming to Tropicana Field to visit the Tampa Bay Rays in an afternoon game set for 1:37pm ET, Wednesday October 4th, 2010. The Rangers finished up having the widest margin of victory in a Divisional race at nine games ahead of Oakland after 162. Tampa Bay however fought tooth and nail while just holding onto the divisional crown in the AL East by one game over the Wildcard winning New York Yankees. Rangers are undoubtedly looking for Cliff Lee to take on and control the game and counter the effort of the Rays David Price.
The Texas Rangers boast an onslaught of offensive talent spearheaded by Josh Hamilton who hit a remarkable .359 this year and almost eclipsed 30 HR and drove in exactly 100 runs. Injuries have slowed him of late, but had well over 500 at bats in the 2010 season. Included in this veteran lineup is Nelson Cruz, Vlad Guerrero, Ian Kinsler and Michael Young, all have had good years and put up the expected numbers and are the main reason they are in the post-season in 2010. Cliff Lee looks to take the mound in the opener, a stellar playoff record with the Phillies last season, he looks to continue this trend as the numbers bare out that no one on the Rays are hitting Lee enough to initially be worried. Carlos Pena is the lone Ray to have a Home run in 12 career at bats against.
Tampa Bay Rays can offer up a balanced order and look to continue their winning ways in clutch situations. Tampa has arguably the best player in baseball in Carl Crawford, who plays the game the way everybody should. This lineup cannot match the Rangers in raw power, but with athleticism and pure heart and hustle. Look for this to be a good series, definitely relying on the given pitching staffs. Having already played a few times in huge showdowns between himself and CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees. David Price the star ace for the Rays should have the mental fortitude to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Cliff Lee as he is only in his first year with the Rangers. However Price has had issues getting Nelson Cruz and Michael Young out, without putting runners on base and runs on the board.
Texas vs Tampa Bay ALDS Playoffs Spread, Line and Betting Odds
@ Rays (-128)
Texas +1.5 (-220)
Tampa Bay -1.5 (+180)
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Rangers vs Rays ALDS Prediction for Game 1:
Spread Prediction (TOP PLAY) – David Price is winless with an 0-2 record against the Texas Rangers, but the Rays won the last game late after Price had departed and took a 6-4 win versus Cliff Lee. The Texas starter is hard to bet against, but also lost a 2-1 game when he was apart of the Seattle Mariners this season. One big stat is that the Rangers are 0-3 indoors at Tropicana Field. But took 2 of 3 in Arlington against the Rays. Price may not have the starting experience in October, but can be counted on as he is familiar in playing in October when he burst onto the scene and made us all aware of his prowess, here’s hoping the layoff between starts doesn’t hinder this stalwart. PREDICTION = RAYS (-128).
Game Total Prediction – Even though these two staff aces are on the hill the runs may come. Their last match up of Price vs Lee came to a total of 10 runs and the number set at seven is probably right where this one will end up. But I cannot ignore the fact that these two teams can put up runs. But the very fact that Cliff Lee has had 185 strikeouts and only 18 walks all year does not bode well for the rays chances. They must capitalize when they get their chances or they will struggle to score. The warmer climate of both parks will help all players in this tightly-gripped series. I must with everything on the line for these clubs suspect that they will be cautious on the Texas side and running and playing small ball with the Rays, for a projected 4-3 score line, no less! PREDICTION = OVER 7 runs.