In 2010, the Rangers returned to the postseason for the first time in over a decade, and not only won their first ever playoff series, but won the American League pennant before losing to the San Francisco Giants in the World Series. Texas made their run in large part due to a lefty ace by the name of Cliff Lee. This year, the Rangers look to repeat as American League champions -- but with a different lefty ace, C.J. Wilson.
Wilson starts for the Rangers on Friday, as Texas plays host to Tampa Bay in Game 1 of the ALDS -- a rematch of last year's 2010 ALDS, when the Rangers won their first playoff series in franchise history. Wilson has easily been the ace of Texas' staff this year, going 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA and 1.19 WHIP while striking out 206 in 223 and 1/3 innings of work.
Wilson has made three starts against the Rays this season, going 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in 21 and 2/3 innings against them. Amazingly, Wilson allowed only 10 hits against Tampa Bay in those three starts, while striking out 24 and walking just eight.
Joe Maddon will oppose Wilson with his only lefty. Matt Moore, who has made only one career start for the Rays, gets the ball for Tampa Bay in Game 1. Moore was excellent for Tampa Bay in the minors this season between AA and AAA, going 12-3 with a 1.92 ERA in 155 innings, striking out 210 and walking only 46 between the two levels.
Moore's lone start for the Rays came last week against the Yankees, in New York, when he pitched five innings, allowing four hits and a walk while striking out 11.
First pitch is scheduled for 4:07 p.m. CDT, with televised coverage being found on TBS.