ALDS Game 1 Las Vegas Odds: Tampa Bay Rays vs Texas Rangers

by Frank Martin

Evan Longoria - ALDS Game 1 Las Vegas Odds: Tampa Bay Rays vs Texas Rangers

Baseball's two hottest teams begin the postseason against one another on Friday when the Texas Rangers host the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Division Series.

Texas won its final six games and 14 of 16 to win a franchise-record 96 games while compiling the second-best record in the AL. Tampa Bay won its final five games to get into the postseason, overcoming a nine-game early-September deficit in the process. The Rangers won the season series, 5-4, and also beat the Rays in five games in last year's ALDS.

- Tampa Bay Rays (0-0) vs. Texas Rangers (0-0)
When: 5:07 PM ET, Friday, September 30, 2011
Where: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Arlington, Texas
TV:5:07 p.m. ET, TBS.

The Rangers have opened as 177-moneyline favorites on Bet Online Sportsbook’s Live MLB Baseball Odds.

Rays LH Matt Moore (1-0, 2.89 ERA) vs. Rangers LH C.J. Wilson (16-7, 2.94 ERA).

Moore is the surprise series-opening starter over Jeff Niemann despite having pitched just 9 1/3 innings in the majors. He was impressive in his only start, striking out 11 in five innings on Sept. 22 while blanking the New York Yankees on four hits. The 22-year-old Moore is considered Tampa Bay's top pitching prospect.

Wilson beat Tampa Bay in the 2010 postseason when he pitched 6 1/3 shutout innings. He beat the Rays twice this month, tossing a five-hit shutout on Sept. 6 and holding Tampa to two runs and two hits on Sept. 1. He is 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA in four regular-season starts against the Rays. B.J. Upton is 0-for-11 against Wilson.

Tampa Bay went 17-7 over its last 24 games in an impressive run that culminated with Evan Longoria's game-winning, 12th-inning homer in Wednesday's regular-season finale. Longoria had 31 homers and 99 RBIs, and Upton (23 homers, 35 steals) and Ben Zobrist (20 homers, 91 RBIs) are solid hitters. James Shields (11 complete games) has been a workhorse but Tampa Bay needs a resurgence from 2010 star David Price (12-13, 3.35).

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Texas led the majors in batting (.283) and was second with 210 homers. Five players hit 25 or more homers – Adrian Beltre (32), Kinsler (32) and Napoli (30) had 30 or more – and Michael Young (.338) had 213 hits for his sixth 200-hit season. The Rangers aren't all power with Elvis Andrus (37 steals) and Kinsler (30) supplying the speed. The starting rotation was surprisingly good despite the offseason departure of Cliff Lee. Neftali Feliz (32 saves) is a solid closer.

The road team won all five games in last year's first-round series.

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adrian beltre - b.j. upton - ben zobrist - c.j. wilson - cliff lee - david price - elvis andrus - evan longoria - james shields - matt moore

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