The 2010 MLB playoff schedule begins Wednesday with the Texas vs. Tampa Bay series. The Texas Rangers won the American League West, while the Tampa Bay Rays won the American League East this season, and now they face off in the American League Division Series. It’s an interesting match-up, but it might be more interesting to see if fans of the Rays even show up. Attendance has been terrible in Tampa Bay, the seasonal average only about 23,000, despite finishing with the best record in the American League.
Now the Tampa Bay Rays hold home field advantage through the American League Playoffs, meaning that we could be seeing a lot of Tropicana Field if the Rays can make it into the American League Championship Series. Game 1 is Wednesday, Oct. 6, when they host Texas in the afternoon. The first pitch is scheduled for 10:37 a.m. PT (1:37 p.m. ET), so it will be even harder for fans to get to the game. Game 2 is scheduled on Thursday, Oct. 7, at 11:37 a.m. PT (2:37 p.m. ET), so they will be keeping with the afternoon time slots through the first two games at least. Game 3 will then shift to New York.
This is going to be a great Game 1 to the Rays vs. Rangers series if the starting pitchers play to their abilities. Cliff Lee will be starting for Texas and David Price is on the mound for Tampa Bay, both pitchers who could have won the 2010 American League Cy Young Award. Price finished 2010 with a 19-6 record and an ERA of just 2.72. He had one start against the Texas Rangers, going six innings while giving up two runs and walking five.
Cliff Lee finished 2010 with just a 12-9 record, but he started out with the Seattle Mariners, and ended up with quite a few no-decision starts during the year. Lee had three starts against Tampa Bay this season, losing all three, despite pitching 23.2 innings in those three games. He gave up 24 hits and 13 runs, all while striking out 25 in those games. Just looking at the statistics alone, it would seem that the Rays have a distinct advantage going into Game 1 of this series.
All games of the series will be played on TBS, giving easy access to baseball fans across the country. In fact, all of the first-round games in both the American League and National League will be shown on TBS, giving baseball fans a chance to watch baseball every night of the week for the first few days of the 2010 MLB playoff schedule.
Texas vs. Tampa Bay Series
Game 1: Wednesday, Oct. 6, at 1:37 p.m. ET
Game 2: Thursday, Oct. 7, at 2:37 p.m. ET
Game 3: Saturday, Oct. 9, at 5:07 p.m. ET
Game 4: Sunday, Oct. 10 (TBD)
Game 5: Tuesday, Oct. 12 (TBD)