When and where to watch: Friday, Oct. 5 at 8:30 p.m. ET on TBS
The Rangers limped to the finish line, going just 3-7 in their final 10 games of the season. However, the real punch in the gut came when Oakland completed a three-game sweep over its division foe, finishing its 13-game comeback to steal the division title.
Now, Texas finds itself facing a one-game play-in for the right to face the AL East champion Yankees in the division series.
Meanwhile, the Orioles almost overcame a 10-game deficit to unseat the reigning East champion Yankees, but a pair of losses at the hands of the Rays spoiled their plans. Baltimore, which was not expected to contend in 2012, reversed its 2011 record of 69-93 to finish two games behind the Yankees and three games ahead of the Rays.
Texas signed Darvish out of Japan beforeto the 2012 season, and the rookie posted a solid campaign and earned a trip to the All-Star Game.
Despite a few hiccups in July and August, Darvish sparkled in September, hurling 36⅔ innings and giving up just 10 runs (nine earned) while striking out 39 batters and walking seven. Darvish was scratched from his Sept. 26 start with neck stiffness, but he pitched the first game of a doubleheader against the Angels on Sept. 30, allowing three runs on nine hits in 6⅔ innings.
After clearing waivers as a member of the Diamondbacks, Arizona dealt Saunders to Baltimore in late August. In seven starts with his new club, the southpaw was charged with 20 runs (18 earned) on 49 hits and eight walks. He struck out 23 batters in 44⅔ innings.
Texas' offense is led by Adrian Beltre, who posted MVP-like numbers while hitting in the middle of the order. The third baseman played in 156 games and hit .321/.359/.561 with 36 homers and 33 doubles as part of an All-Star campaign.
Adam Jones is the spark plug in the middle of the Orioles' order. In 2012, the center fielder played in all 162 games, hitting .287/.334/.505 while bopping 32 homers and 39 doubles. Another interesting player to look out for will be third baseman Manny Machado, a 20-year-old who was recalled in late August and showed he can hit for power on the big stage, collecting seven home runs, three triples, and eight doubles in 51 games.