The 163rd game of the regular season was somewhat of a dud as David Price and the Tampa Bay Rays shut down the sliding Texas Rangers to clinch the final Wild Card spot in the AL playoffs. So now the fun begins with an intra-division, winner-take-all game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night followed by the Rays hitting the road again to take on the Cleveland Indians in the other Wild Card game.
The coolest part about the NL side of the bracket — or worst thing, depending on your point of view — is the winner of the Reds-Pirates game will face the winner of the same NL Central division, the St. Louis Cardinals. As if these three teams didn’t get enough of each other during the regular season, they’ll have to churn out a final intra-division tournament before they can get to the rest of the league.
On the AL side, the Rays now have momentum heading into Cleveland on Wednesday, although David Price likely won’t be able to pitch in Game 1 after throwing a complete game in the play-in win over the Rangers on Monday night. However, the Indians have won their last 10 games, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens when the unstoppable force of Cleveland meets the immovable object of Tampa Bay. And baseball fans wouldn’t have it any other way.