MLB Playoffs: Division Series Day One

I'm not going to make any predictions here, because I don't have a real good handle on any of these series. The teams all seem pretty evenly matched. But here are a few brief comments on each series.

The Rangers have made the playoffs for the first time in eleven years. They did so with surprisingly good pitching, finishing fourth in the AL in fewest runs allowed, helped by the acquisition of Cliff Lee. Rays pitching was better -- finishing second in the AL -- and they scored just a few more runs than the Rangers. Lee will face 19-game winner David Price today.

There is a 30% chance of showers in Philadelphia for the late-afternoon start between the Reds and Phillies (5 pm EDT). The Reds led the National League in runs, HR, SLG and OPS. Phillies pitchers led the major leagues by shutting out their opponents 21 times. Which one will give way in this series? Roy Halladay, making his first postseason start, faces the Reds' Edinson Volquez.

I'd very much like to see the Twins win it all this year, and before they lost eight of their last ten games they looked like they were a pretty good shot to do it. Was that just an end-of-season letdown? The 2008 Cubs were 3-4 after they clinched the division, and were flat in the playoffs. Somehow, I don't think Ron Gardenhire will not properly prepare them. And the Yankees also limped home, losing eight of their last 11. CC Sabathia will face Francisco Liriano today.

After the jump, game times and TV information.

12:30 pm CDT: Rangers at Rays. Announcers: Don Orsillo, Buck Martinez and Marc Fein. MLB.com Gameday for Rays/Rangers

4:00 pm CDT: Reds at Phillies. Announcers: Brian Anderson, Joe Simpson and David Aldridge. MLB.com Gameday for Reds/Phillies

7:30 pm CDT: Yankees at Twins. Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Ron Darling, John Smoltz and Craig Sager (yes, since the Yankees are involved, it takes four announcers). MLB.com Gameday for Yankees/Twins

SB Nation game preview for Rays/Rangers

SB Nation game preview for Reds/Phillies

SB Nation game preview for Yankees/Twins

I would think one playoff discussion thread here would be enough for today, even with three games, but if it gets slow later and you need an overflow, post it in the FanShot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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