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Tampa Bay Rays News and Links: Playoff baseball is here

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Wild Card Round - Chicago White Sox v Oakland Athletics - Game One Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Yesterday’s wrap up

I wouldn’t necessarily say there were upsets yesterday, but I believe the Rays were the only home (e.g. higher seeded) team to win

Astros 4 Twins 1

White Sox 4 Athletics 1

Rays 3 Blue Jays 1

Yankees 12 Indians 3

Today’s games

Braves vs. Reds 12 p.m. ESPN

Twins vs. Astros 1 p.m. ESPN2

Cubs vs. Marlins 2 p.m. ABC

A’s vs. White Sox 3 p.m. ESPN

Rays vs. Blue Jays 4 p.m. TBS

Padres vs. Cardinals 5 p.m. ESPN2

Cleveland vs. Yankees 7 p.m. ESPN

Dodgers vs. Brewers 10 p.m. ESPN

To get you ready for today’s marathon, here’s an overview.

Rays News:

Marc Topkin dissects the first round roster. ($)

Perhaps the biggest surprise was the inclusion of Shane McClanahan, who will be making his MLB debut if he sees action. Here’s some info on him ($)

Ben Clemens previews series (before Jay announced that Ryu would start game 2).

Around the League

Ken Rosenthal has a nice piece that is a combination of “I can’t believe we’re at this point” and “here’s what to look for” ($)

Lots of playoff content! So here’s the funny thing. When national media predict that the Rays will do well, I worry that this will bring on the evil eye. But when they fail to predict the Rays doing well, I am angry that they don’t have confidence in this Rays team.

ESPN polled their stable of experts about expected outcomes. A lot of confidence that the Rays will be heading to the World Series!

Jeff Passan thinks the Rays are good for the AL pennant.

The Athletic polled a player, a coach and a scout about the probable first round winners ($).

This Tom Boswell column ($)is not a prediction, more general musings on the postseason, but he loves the Rays:

The club that fascinates me most is the brilliant Rays, the top seed in the AL who could use bailing wire and barrel slats to duplicate the QE2. The Rays can take your grounds crew, coach it up and beat your $200 million roster.