Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:52 AM

AL Divisional Series Cheat Sheet

The Wild Card round is over as the 16-team field has been sliced in half to eight squads seeking a World Series title. No team will have home-field advantage the rest of the way as the four remaining series will be played at neutral sites in California and Texas.

The divisional playoff round in the American League will take place in San Diego and Los Angeles. AL East rivals Tampa Bay and New York will square off at Petco Park, while AL West foes Oakland and Houston hook up at Dodger Stadium.

American League

#1 Tampa Bay Rays vs. #5 New York Yankees
at Petco Park, San Diego

  • TB: 42-20 SU, 28-31-3 O/U
  • NYY: 35-27 SU, 31-27-4 O/U

Series Price

  • Tampa Bay -110
  • New York -110

Series Schedule

  • Game 1 - Monday, Oct. 5 - 8:07 p.m. ET (TBS)
  • Game 2 - Tuesday, Oct. 6 - TBD (TBS)
  • Game 3 - Wednesday, Oct. 7 - TBD (TBS)
  • Game 4 - Thursday, Oct. 8 - (If Necessary)
  • Game 5 - Friday, Oct. 9 - (If Necessary)

The Rays and Yankees aren't exactly the best of friends as these two division rivals are meeting in the postseason for the first time ever. Tampa Bay cruised to the AL East title for the third time in franchise history and first time since 2010. The Yankees are making their fourth straight playoff appearance as they are seeking their first World Series trip since 2009.

Tampa Bay took care of Toronto in the Wild Card round by outscoring the Blue Jays, 11-3 in a pair of wins. Former Cy Young winner Blake Snell won his first ever playoff start in a 3-1 triumph in Game 1, followed by six-run second inning breakout by the Rays in an 8-2 blowout in Game 2.

The Yankees' potent offense showed up by posting a pair of double-digit run performances in a two-game sweep of the Indians. New York rolled past Cleveland in the series opener, 12-3 behind Gerrit Cole's 13 strikeouts in seven innings. The Yankees erased an early 4-0 hole and a ninth-inning deficit to capture Game 2 by a 10-9 count behind three home runs, including a grand slam by third baseman Gio Urshela.

The Rays have advanced to the ALCS only once in franchise history, coming during their World Series run in 2008. The Yankees are seeking their third ALCS appearance in the last four seasons as they lost to the Astros the first two times (and are still alive in the other ALDS matchup).

Tampa Bay dominated the season series by taking eight of 10 meetings from New York. The Rays knocked off the Yankees five of six times in the Bronx, while Tampa Bay went 2-1 in three games against Cole, who is scheduled to start Game 1. Rays' hurler Tyler Glasnow defeated Cole and the Yankees twice, as the right-hander struck out 17 batters in the two victories.

#2 Oakland Athletics vs. #6 Houston Astros
at Dodger Stadium - Los Angeles

  • OAK: 38-25 SU, 28-33-2 O/U
  • HOU: 31-31 SU, 29-30-3 O/U

Series Price

  • Oakland -120
  • Houston +100

Series Schedule

  • Game 1 - Monday, Oct. 5 - 4:07 p.m. ET (TBS)
  • Game 2 - Tuesday, Oct. 6 - TBD (TBS)
  • Game 3 - Wednesday, Oct. 7 - TBD (TBS)
  • Game 4 - Thursday, Oct. 8 - (If Necessary)
  • Game 5 - Friday, Oct. 9 - (If Necessary)

No matter the sign-stealing controversy, the injuries, the managerial change prior to the season - the Astros just won't go away. Houston finished the season as one of two playoff teams to own a losing record, but the Astros managed a two-game sweep of the Twins, who have amazingly lost 18 consecutive playoff contests since 2004.

The Astros are still the defending American League champions and are seeking a third World Series trip since 2017. Houston's pitching carried them past Minnesota in the Wild Card round by allowing one run in each of the two wins. Houston cashed as a road underdog in each victory, as the Astros entered the playoffs with the worst away mark of any postseason squad.

The Athletics put up a dud offensively in Game 1 against the White Sox, but Oakland rebounded with five runs in a Game 2 victory and six runs in the series-clinching triumph of Game 3. The A's rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the deciding game with a four-run fourth inning to capture a playoff series for the first time since 2006.

Oakland has had some tough luck in the Wild Card round the last few seasons, but is playing in the ALDS for the first time since 2013, when the A's fell to the Tigers in five games. The Astros have advanced past the ALDS each of the last three seasons, but needed five games to knock out the Rays in 2019.

The A's won six of 10 meetings this season from the Astros, as Houston was limited to two runs or fewer in seven of those games. As a result, seven of those matchups finished 'under' the total, while the favorite won eight of 10 times.

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