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ALCS Game 1: C.J. Wilson Leads Rangers Against Sabathia, Yankees

C.J. Wilson can etch his name into Rangers history just by taking the mound tonight in Game 1 of the ALCS. Wilson is slated to start the first ALCS game in franchise history for the Rangers. 

The Rangers will be facing a familiar October foe in the ALCS - the New York Yankees. Texas has faced New York in each postseason appearance in franchise history. The Rangers lost to New York in the ALDS in 1996, 1998 and 1999 - the only other years besides 2010 that Texas has made the playoffs.

The Yankees will be sending lefty ace C.C. Sabathia to the mound tonight in Arlington. Sabathia was a 21 game winner in the regular season, posting a 3.18 ERA and 1.19 WHIP while striking out 197 in 237.2 innings of work. He was also credited with the Game 1 ALDS victory over the Twins, pitching six innings while allowing four runs (three earned) while striking out five. 

Wilson will draw the Game 1 start tonight thanks to ace Cliff Lee pitching in Game 5 of the ALDS. Wilson pitched and won Game 2 of the ALDS against the Rays, allowing only two hits and two walks while striking out seven in six and a third innings. 

Wilson will face a much tougher task tonight in Arlington against the Yankees than he did last week against the Rays. The strength of the Yankees is their lineup - which boasts both star power and depth. New York led the entire MLB in runs scored with 859 this year. Robinson Cano emerged as an MVP candidate for the Yankees this year, hitting .319 with a .914 OPS while belting 29 home runs. His emergence along with Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez give the Yankees a potent middle of the order.

Matt Treanor is expected to start at catcher for the Rangers tonight with Wilson on the mound. With a lefthander on the mound for New York, look for Jorge Cantu or Jeff Francoeur to draw a start tonight for Texas as well.

The game is scheduled to begin at 8:00 PM EDT, 7 PM local time in Arlington. Televised coverage can be found on TBS.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.