After a grueling 162-game season, the Texas Rangers cross the finish line and qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2016. The Rangers will be taking on the Tampa Bay Rays starting on Tuesday at Tropicana Field. It's going to be a slugfest between both of these teams that want to advance to the ALDS which will start later this week. Let's take a look at the four storylines of this series will be for the Rangers.
Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays Storylines: 4. Starting pitching for Rangers
One of the main things everyone will be looking at is the starting pitching for the Texas Rangers. The Rangers will be without three of their starters for this series. Jacob DeGrom, Max Scherzer, and Jon Gray will be unavailable for this series. That leaves a potential starting rotation of Jordan Montgomery, Nathan Eovaldi, and either Dane Dunning or Andrew Heaney. The Rangers announced Monday that Montgomery will be the starting pitcher in game 1.
Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays Storylines: 3. Battle between the Lowe brothers
There is a very special matchup that both fanbases are probably going to be watching during the wildcard matchup this week. Nathaniel and Josh Lowe will be going up against each other in the playoffs. Nathaniel finished the season with a .262 batting average and 17 home runs. His brother Josh finished the season with better stats batting .292 and 20 home runs. It will be interesting to see which brother advances to the ALDS while the other watches on television.
Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays Storylines: 2. Evan Carter playoff debut
The one thing that the Rangers fanbase is waiting to find out is whether Evan Carter will be allowed to play in this series against the Rays. If Carter is allowed to play in the wildcard series against the Rays, it will be his first career postseason debut. Carter could be a difference-maker in the lineup for the Rangers so keep an eye out for the roster on Tuesday.
Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays Storylines: 1. The bullpen
The Rangers' bullpen is probably going to give the fanbase irregular heartbeats throughout the series. The bullpen has been the achilles heel for the Rangers this season. The bullpen has blown 33 save attempts this year which is the most in the league. This could determine whether the Rangers advance to the ALDS or travel home for the offseason. I definitely know that the Rangers fanbase will definitely be holding their breath when the starting pitcher leaves the mound.