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Prediction: Texas Rangers' bats to menace Tampa Bay Rays' pitching in ALDS

Josh Hamilton

Josh Hamilton Credit: Getty Images

Texas Rangers
1st, AL West (90-72)
Most recent postseason: Swept by Yankees, 1999 ALDS

vs. Tampa Bay Rays
1st, AL East (96-66)
Most recent postseason: Lost to Philadelphia 4-1, 2008 World Series

The outcome of Texas’ first playoff appearance since 1999 will be determined by their starting rotation’s ability to stymie the Tampa Bay lineup. The Rays’ offense finished third in runs scored and first in walks in the majors. Yet they struck out more often than all but two teams, contributing to a lowly .247 team batting average. Tampa Bay, in its second postseason in three years, is counting on ace David Price in Game 1 to shut down an offense led by MVP candidate Josh Hamilton. Both clubs have excellent bullpens, which places even more importance on each offense scoring early against the opposing starter. The consistency of Texas’ Nos. 1-3 starters will win out in the end.
Rangers in 5

ALDS: Texas vs. Tampa Bay
Game 1: Today, Texas (LHP Cliff Lee, 12-9, 3.18) at Tampa Bay (LHP David Price, 19-6, 2.72), 1:30 p.m. TBS
Game 2: Tomorrow, Texas (LHP C.J. Wilson, 15-8, 3.35) at Tampa Bay (RHP James Shields, 13-15, 5.18), 2:30 p.m. TBS
Game 3: Sat., Tampa Bay (RHP Matt Garza, 15-10, 3.91) at Texas (RHP Colby Lewis, 12-12, 3.72), 5 p.m. TBS
Game 4: Sun., Tampa Bay (RHP Wade Davis, 12-10, 4.07) at Texas (RHP Tommy Hunter, 13-4, 3.73), 1 p.m.* TBS
Game 5: Tues., Texas (TBA) at Tampa Bay (LHP David Price, 19-6, 2.72), 5 p.m.* TBS
* if necessary

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