The Baltimore Orioles got the benefit of extended rest in the playoffs by winning the AL East, gaining a first round bye and going straight to the ALDS. Watching the series between the Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays to determine who they would play beginning Saturday, we now know who the boys in Orange will face in the best of five ALDS.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Rangers routed the Rays in game two, winning 7-1 to complete the two game sweep of the Rays and punch their ticket to the ALDS. Soon, they'll get on a plane to Camden Yards, where the Orioles await them.
Baltimore Orioles to face Texas Rangers in ALDS
The Orioles and Rangers have played each other well this season, going 3-3 in the six games they played in the regular season. The Orioles won two of three in Texas, while the Rangers won two of three in Baltimore.
This series will mark just the second time the Orioles and Rangers have met in the playoffs. The first time was the 2012 Wild Card game, with the Orioles dispatching the Rangers 5-1. Key players in that game for Baltimore? Joe Saunders, Mark Reynolds, JJ Hardy, Manny Machado, and Adam Jones. Yeah, that's how long it's been.
Jordan Montgomery and Nathan Eovaldi started games one and two of the series respectively. Montgomery would be on three days' rest entering game one on Saturday, as would Eovaldi with game two on Sunday.
As such, it's possible the Rangers could start someone like an Andrew Heaney, Dane Dunning, or Martin Perez in game one to give Montgomery and Eovaldi the regular rest. Or, they could roll the dice and pitch them both on short rest.
No matter who the Rangers start, the Orioles rotation is fully rested and ready to roll. It seems all but a given that Kyle Bradish takes the mound on Saturday for game one. After that, you could make the case for all of Dean Kremer, John Means, and Grayson Rodriguez to start the next two games.
Whoever Brandon Hyde chooses, this series will no doubt be exciting to watch as two powerful teams do battle on the October stage. Buckle up, this is gonna be one wild ride.