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Playoff Gameday Thread, #3: ALDS under way.

After two wild-card games - one the epitome of playofff excitement, the other dull as ditchwater - we get into the meat of the post-season proper, as the American League Division Series start.

Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Vargas
LHP, 0-0, N/A
Jared Weaver
RHP, 0-0, N/A
Alcides Escobar - SS Kole Calhoun - RF
Norichika Aoki - RF Mike Trout - CF
Lorenzo Cain - CF Albert Pujols - 1B
Eric Hosmer - 1B Howie Kendrick - 2B
Billy Butler - DH David Freese - 3B
Alex Gordon - LF Erick Aybar - SS
Salvador Perez - C Josh Hamilton - LF
Omar Infante - 2B C.J. Cron - DH
Mike Moustakas - 3B Chris Iannetta - C

The evening game sees the Royals pull in to Anaheim, presumably still wheezing after slugging it out with the Athletics for 13 innings on Tuesday night. Meanwhile, the Angels haven't played a truly meaningful game for two weeks, since clinching the AL West on September 18. Obviously, they'll be a lot better rested than the Royals, but might they also be rusty? Analysis, perhaps surprisingly, doesn't seem to show much impact. "What a team does in order to clinch a spot - win, lose, draw, or rest - does not foreshadow one whit what they will do in the postseason." But that 13-inning game? Yeah, that might impact things. Here are the odds from Bovada for this series:

  • Kansas City Royals in three - 9/1
  • Kansas City Royals in four - 7/2
  • Kansas City Royals in five - 9/2
  • Los Angeles Angels in three - 4/1
  • Los Angeles Angels in four - 13/4
  • Los Angeles Angels in five - 11/4

2:37pm Arizona time, TBS

Max Scherzer
RHP, 0-0, N/A
Chris Tillman
RHP, 0-0, N/A
Ian Kinsler - 2B Nick Markakis - RF
Torii Hunter - RF Alejandro De Aza - LF
Miguel Cabrera - 1B Adam Jones - CF
Victor Martinez - DH Nelson Cruz - DH
J.D. Martinez - LF Steve Pearce - 1B
Alex Avila - C J.J. Hardy - SS
Nick Castellanos - 3B Ryan Flaherty - 3B
Andrew Romine - SS Nick Hundley - C
Rajai Davis - CF Jonathan Schoop - 2B

First off, we have the battle of division champions, with the AL Central winning Tigers taking on the top team in the AL East, the Yanke... No, it was the Red So... Wait. What? It was the Orioles? Shurely shome mishtake? Probably explains why FOX executives are whimpering in a corner, and praying desperately for the Dodgers to reach the World Series. This does promise to be quite a good series, and it wouldn't surprise me if it went all the way to a fifth game, though going by the sports books odds (from, it appears that shorter series would favor Detroit, presumably for pitching reasons.

  • Detroit Tigers in three - 9/2
  • Detroit Tigers in four - 3/1
  • Detroit Tigers in five - 7/2
  • Baltimore Orioles in three - 7/1
  • Baltimore Orioles in four - 4/1
  • Baltimore Orioles in five - 7/2

6:07pm Arizona time, TBS