MLB Playoff Preview

Published by: dallaseste on 4th Oct 2010 | View all blogs by dallaseste

The matchups for the 2010 Major League Baseball playoffs are finally set, after several spots went down to the final day of the regular season to decide.


The playoffs will kick off Wednesday afternoon at 1:37 PM ET, as the AL East Champion Tampa Bay Rays host the AL West Champion Texas Rangers. The NL East-winning Philadelphia Philles will begin their bid for back-to-back-to-back World Series appearances at 5:07 PM ET when they host the NL Central Champion Cincinnati Reds at 5:07 PM ET. The AL Central Champion Minnesota Twins will follow later that night, hosting the AL wildcard winner, and defending World Champions, the New York Yankees at 8:37 PM ET. The final series will begin Thursday night at 9:37 ET as the NL West Champion San Francisco Giants host the NL wildcard winner, the Atlanta Braves.

The American League playoff picture was finalized Sunday afternoon when the Yankees lost their last game of the year to the Boston Red Sox. The loss gave the AL East division title to the Rays, and forced the Yankees to open the playoffs on the road as the winner of the AL wildcard. The National League playoff scenarios remained in question, meanwhile, until late Sunday afternoon. The Braves beat the Phillies early in the day, locking up at least a one-game playoff for the NL wildcard, but the San Diego Padres couldn't force the extra game in a 3-0 loss to the Giants. If San Diego had won, they would've matched up against the Giants on Monday for the NL West title, and the loser would've played Atlanta on Tuesday for the wild card berth.

The Philles, by virtue of having the best record in the All-Star Game-winning National League, was granted the opportunity of either an eight-day or seven-day Division Series, and they opted for the seven-day series beginning Wednesday. The team will attempt to become the first team in the National League since the 1944 St. Louis Cardinals to make three consecutive appearances in the World Series. Their choice of a seven day series left the Giants and Braves with the eight-day series beginning on Thursday.

The American League playoff teams had all secured postseason spots by early in the season's final week, but seeding was not decided until Sunday's Yankees-Red Sox game was concluded. If Tampa Bay had lost to Kansas City, they would still have won the division title by virtue of a 10-8 series head-to-head record versus the Yankees in the regular season.

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