Fixture: Tampa Bay @ Texas
Time/Date: 8:07 PM ET, September 30, 2013
Odds: +102 (2.02 in decimal odds) @ Pinnacle
This will be the American League Wild Card tiebreaker game played in Arlington. The winner of this game travels to Cleveland to face Indians on Wednesday. Texas took the season series 4-3, thus earning the home field advantage in this tiebreaker. Texas took 3 game home series 2-1 back in April. and they've split 4 game series in Tamp Bay 2 weeks ago.
Both Texas and Tampa Bay took second places in their divisions with 91-71 record. Texas is on 7 games winning streak. Tampa Bay lost 2 out 3 this weekend in Toronto.
David Price will be starting for Tampa Bay tonight. He went 9-8, 3.39 ERA in 26 starts this season. He recorded a win in his last start against the Yankees in New York 5 days ago, but he was winless in previous 5 starts, going 0-3 during that period. He is 1-4, 5.98 ERA in 8 career starts against Texas, and has a 10.26 ERA in 4 starts in Arlington. Price has dropped all 3 of his postseason starts against Texas, 2 during the 2010 American League Division Series and the other in the 2011 American League Division Series.
Texas is sending out Martin Perez, who is 10-5, 3.55 ERA after 19 starts in 2013. Perez recorded a win in his last start 5 days ago against Houston, allowing 3 earned runs, while striking out 8 in 7 innings of work. He is is 7-2, 3.26 ERA in his last 10 starts. In period from August 5th til September 3rd Perez recorded 6 victories in 6 consecutive outings. He has allowed 3 or fewer runs in 9 of his last 11 starts. Texas is 4-1 in Perez's last 5 starts as an underdog.
Texas defeated Tampa Bay in the American League Division Series in 2010 and 2011 en route to back-to-back World Series appearances.
Tampa Bay is 0-7 in their last 7 playoff games as a favorite and I expect them to lose tonight.