It’s do or die time for the Texas Rangers (90-72) and the Tampa Bay Rays (96-66) when these AL division winners meet up for Game 5 of their baseball odds playoff matchup.
The winner of this game will go on to face the New York Yankees in the ALCS while the loser will go home to watch the rest of the playoffs on TV. The MLB playoffs can be brutal but fair and the team that plays the best will advance.
In a replay of Game 1 of this series at Tropicana Field the Rangers will send out ace Cliff Lee to the mound. Lee was tremendous in Game 1 against a potent Rays lineup. He pitched 7.0 innings giving up just 1.0 ER and struck out 10 in one of several stellar performances by pitchers in last week’s divisional round playoff games.
The Rangers not only won Game 1 with ease (5-1) they also went on to win Game 2 on the road and put the Rays in what seemed to be insurmountable position playing from a 0-2 hole on the road.
But the Rays battled back winning the next two games in Texas and now the baseball odds series heads back to where it all began in Tampa.
The pitching matchup will be the same Tampa’s ace David Price (19-6, 2.72 ERA) will take the mound for the second time in this series and the Rays look to become the first home team to win a game in this series.
But Price, the front runner for the AL Cy Young will have to pitch better than he did in his last start. In Game 1 he was awful giving up 4 earned runs in just 6.2 innings of work. He struck out 8 but allowed 9 hits including 2 HRs.
This is an extremely difficult baseball odds contest to call. Both teams have potent offenses and great pitchers on the mound. Based on Game 1 you have to like Lee’s chances on the road but Tampa might just be the toughest team in baseball and it’s hard to bet against this squad.
Look for the Rays to gut out a win in Game 5 and earn a spot in the ALCS against the hated division rival Yankees.