Sep 30, 2011, 8:30 PM EDT
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Michael Young and Mike Napoli lead the Rangers into the playoffs.
After the wildest final day of the regular season baseball has ever experienced, the postseason begins tonight. And it's only fitting one of the first teams on the field is the one that pulled off the most dramatic comeback to get here. The Tampa Bay Rays did the unthinkable Wednesday night, storming back from a 7-0 deficit to tie the New York Yankees with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, then winning in the bottom of the 12th on Evan Longoria's walk-off homer.
The Rays arrived in Texas flying high, but they can't live in the past. They're facing a daunting challenge in the defending AL champs, who knocked them out in the Division Series last fall. Rangers manager Ron Washington has his rotation lined up exactly how he wants it, with lefty C.J. Wilson on the mound for Game 1 tonight. Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon, meanwhile, is taking a bold risk: Rookie Matt Moore, the organization's top prospect, will make only his second career start tonight.
How will this all play out? Scroll down for my series prediction…
AL DIVISION SERIES – GAME 1
TAMPA BAY RAYS at TEXAS RANGERS
Where: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
Gametime: 5:07 p.m.
Radio: WSPZ (570 AM), XM 181
Weather: Sunny, 84 degrees, Wind 12 mph LF to RF
SS Sean Rodriguez
CF B.J. Upton
3B Evan Longoria
2B Ben Zobrist
NL EAST STANDINGS
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