At FanGraphs, we've had some internal discussions about home field advantage (I'm not sure if the results are published just yet), but a key thing to note, per the great Jeff Zimmerman, is that home field advantage -- results-wise -- manifests itself most significantly in the bottom of the first inning. For whatever reason, away pitchers struggle to start fast. If Price can slice through that first inning with ease, then maybe things go the Rays way. If not, then the advantage the Rays have from the pitcher matchup may be negated.
I just REALLY want the Rays to win. Especially there, in Texas, heart of all I loathe about the country I love.
Some possible firsts: If the Rays can win today, Jamey Wright will get a chance for his first ever playoffs appearance. Wright added 70.0 IP of near-3.00 ERA to the bullpen this year, setting a career-high 22.6% K-rate and career-low 8.0% BB-rate. I hope he's back in 2014.
Also, David DeJesus is on his first winning MLB team since he appeared in 12 games with the 2003 Kansas City Royals in his cup-o-coffee debut. If the Rays win, he will be on his first playoff team -- not to mention a major part of it.
1 game series vs Rangers @ Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
Monday, Sep 30, 2013, 8:07 PM EDT
David Price vs Martin Perez
Clear. Winds blowing in from right field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 80.