Rays vs. Rangers, Monday 9/30, 7 pm CT: The All-Chicago Tiebreaker

Rick Yeatts

Tonight's American League wild-card tiebreaker will seem very, very familiar to you.

Here are the former major-league Cubs on the two rosters: Neal Cotts, Matt Garza, Jeff Baker, Geovany Soto, Sam Fuld, Jeff Beliveau and David DeJesus. Of course, Garza won't play in this game, but the others all either will or could, and that's not even counting Robinson Chirinos, Chris Archer and Jim Adduci, all of whom played in the Cubs' farm system (Archer won't be pitching in this one either). Since this is considered a regular-season game, not a postseason game, the teams are not limited to a 25-man roster and can use any and all of their September callups.

And if that's not enough, the following players in this game also played in Chicago, on the South Side: Cotts, A.J. Pierzynski, Alex Rios, Jason Frasor and Jesse Crain.

Somehow, all these players were good enough to play for and win with other teams, but not in Chicago. Oh, well.

One more thing about this game: If the Rays win, they will have played in Toronto (Sunday) and Texas (Monday). They would then head to Cleveland for the wild-card game (Wednesday), and if they win that, play in Boston on Friday.

Rays lineup:

Jennings CF, Myers RF, Zobrist 2B, Longoria 3B, Young DH, Rodriguez LF, Loney 1B, Escobar SS, Molina C

Rangers lineup:

Kinsler 2B, Andrus SS, Rios RF, Beltre 3B, Pierzynski C, Cruz DH, Moreland 1B, Gentry LF, Martin CF

Nelson Cruz completed his 50-game suspension and is eligible as of today, so he was activated and will start.

Today's Starting Pitchers

David Price

David Price


Rays

vs. Martin Perez

Martin Perez


Rangers

vs. Tex

--

vs. TB


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - David Price 9-8 26 26 3 0 0 0 177.2 171 76 67 16 26 147 3.39 1.11


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Martin Perez 10-5 19 19 1 0 0 0 119.0 125 52 47 14 35 79 3.55 1.34

Martin Perez is having a fine year at age 22. He has not faced the Rays this year and current members of the team are a very small-sample-size 2-for-8 against him. Perez finished strong with good outings against the Royals and Astros; of course, the Rays are a better team than that.

David Price has not faced the Rangers this year, and that's probably a good thing, because he has a lifetime 5.98 ERA and 1.489 WHIP in eight career starts against them. Worse, he has a 10.26 ERA and 1.98 ERA in four lifetime starts at Rangers Ballpark. But he is David Price, and although his 2013 isn't anything close to his 2012, he's still had a good year (112 ERA+) and has also finished strong over his last four starts.

Doom? Not for these teams. They're right where they want to be, with a chance for the postseason, one day after the regular season has ended.

Today's game is on TBS. Announcers: Brian Anderson, Joe Simpson and John Smoltz. Field reporter: David Aldridge.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

SB Nation Rays site: DRays Bay

SB Nation Rangers site Lone Star Ball

This will serve as your one and only game thread for tonight's game. Enjoy, and discuss amongst yourselves.

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