We kick off the 2010 playoffs with today's triple-header, so if you're looking for something to do at work, here you go. Good thing a Los Angeles team isn't in it, since it's absolutely pouring here. Yeah, I have no idea what's up with that.
Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays - 10:30AM Pacific
I really like two of the AL teams this year (Rays and Twins) and I must admit that the Rangers are growing on me (and I like when the AL West is well-represented by anyone but the Angels). I will be rooting for a good series in this one, and although I have a friend who is a die-hard Rangers fan, I'm not sure I can root against the Rays. They will have their work cut out for them in today's contest; the Rangers are throwing Cliff Lee in the opener. However, the Rays will counter with Cy Young candidate David Price in what should prove to be a pretty great game. Both Evan Longoria and Josh Hamilton are expected to play in the series, and only time will tell if Tampa Bay's hard-fought AL crown leading to the home-field advantage will help them.
Cincinnati Reds vs. Philadelphia Phillies - 2:00PM Pacific
The surprising Reds will be the first team to attempt to knock off the two-time NL champion Phillies, a team that many say should win it all. But the Reds will bring in their NL-leading offense in average, homeruns and RBI as they try to take down the trio of Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt. Both starting pitchers in today's game (Halladay and Volquez for the Reds) will be making their playoff debuts. Highlights in the series will include Aroldis Chapman (clocked at 105), Joey Votto, likely the NL MVP, and just the overall appearance for the Reds, who haven't been to the playoffs in fifteen years. It's a no-brainer for me; I'll be rooting for the Reds, who will have to play at their very best and take advantage of the Phillies' weaknesses, which pretty much includes Rollins and Polanco's injuries and not much else.
New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins - 5:30PM Pacific
The Twins are hoping for a different result than the last three times they have faced the Yankees in the postseason; the Yankees are 3-0 with an overall record of 9-2 in the individual games. But this is an improved Twins team and this is an older Yankees team, and the Twins do hold the home-field advantage. It would be nice to see the defending World Champs out in the first round, if only to get some new blood into the World Series. (Yes, I'm also rooting for the Twins.) The Yankees will throw CC Sabathia in tonight's contest (I must admit to having much love for CC; he won me a fantasy baseball league this year, more on this in a subsequent post) against Francisco Liriano. The Twins have managed to make up for the loss of elite closer Joe Nathan and superstar Morneau (out since July, but currently working out with the team), but they are probably sunk if any other injuries occur (stares at Mauer).
So there you have it. Are we ready for some baseball!?