The MLB playoff schedule 2010 comes out of hibernation tonight. After the MLB playoff schedule 2010 had its first off days, the ALCS will open tonight to kick off a week of non-stop action. Tonight’s ALCS Game 1 will be historic, as the first league championship game to be held in Arlington. The Texas Rangers are newcomers to this stage, while this is a mild accomplishment for the New York Yankees. But as the playoffs open for the ALCS, the Rangers can get a big advantage with an upset victory.
Despite opening at home, the Rangers are decided underdogs for many reasons. They have not taken advantage of home field thus far, losing two games to Tampa Bay. Because they did that, they can’t send Cliff Lee out to duel with C.C. Sabathia tonight, and must save him until Game 3. Yet that makes it more important for the Yankees to jump ahead.
The MLB playoff schedule 2010 in the ALCS leaves the Yankees with little margin for error. If the Rangers get a split, Lee will be favored to give them the lead in Game 3, even with Andy Pettitte matched against him. If that happens, then the Yankees have to trust the shaky A.J. Burnett to bail them out in Game 4. If he can’t do that, then New York must win two games just to face Lee again in Game 7.
Since the Rangers have the ultimate ace in the hole, they know they can steal ALCS momentum quickly. If their other ace, C.J. Wilson, can outduel C.C. Sabathia tonight, it would be a huge confidence boost, and leave the Yankees up against the wall. New York does not want to risk going down 2-0, with Lee coming up in Game 3, even if it is at home – since Lee has dominated in Yankee Stadium before.
But since the Yankees have destroyed the Rangers in October before, and since they proved to be road warriors in Minnesota, they remain favored to avoid the worst case scenario. However, the playoff schedule has yielded such pitching power that Sabathia seems like the weakest ace left by comparison.
Sabathia goes into the ALCS after struggling against the Twins, and after struggling in last year’s World Series as well. His postseason resume hasn’t been that overpowering, so he can be gotten to. Meanwhile, Wilson dominated the Rays in his first playoff start, and looks to prove Lee isn’t the only reliable ace on Texas’s staff.
Game 1 is often a bellwether for the series to come, and the ALCS opener may be a primary example. If the Rangers want the playoffs to be truly historic for their franchise, their best shot may be to win tonight. But if the Yankees win, it could signal that nothing has changed since their last playoff showdowns in the 90’s.
The ALCS resumes the playoffs tonight at 8:07 pm on TBS, before Game 2 tomorrow afternoon.
MLB.com- “2010 MLB Postseason Schedule”
TSN- “Yankees and Rangers Kick Off ALCS In Arlington”