Orioles 5, Rangers 3
Eduardo A. Encina
This is the kind of matchup up that Orioles manager Buck Showalter enjoys, a one-game, winner-take-all fight to the final out. And his team will relish it, too. Every time the Orioles seem to be out this season, they come charging back. Expect Showalter's wild-card roster to be packed with relievers so he can utilize matchup advantages. If the suddenly silent bats show up, the Orioles are coming home for the ALDS.
Orioles 7, Rangers 6
There's absolutely no logical reason for this pick. Texas' Yu Darvish could pitch brilliantly and limit the Orioles to three runs or fewer. But there's been nothing logical about this season. So I'll go with the inexplicable: And a playoff series in Baltimore against the New York Yankees starting Sunday.
Rangers 5, Orioles 3
Even in their 2-7 season-ending slump, the Rangers averaged four runs per game, which should be enough to get 16-game winner Yu Darvish past the Orioles if they don't break out at the plate in the early innings.
Rangers 8, Orioles 6
I think it's imperative for the Orioles to get off to a good start and not fall into an early hole. With this pitching matchup not being very favorable, I think they fall behind early, mount a strong rally, but ultimately come up a little short.