Texas Rangers: 4 Matchups that will determine who will win the wild card round

Texas and Tampa Bay will be playing in the wild card round starting on Tuesday and the winner of this series will likely be determined by these four matchups
Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays
Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages
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#1- Jonah Heim vs Tampa Bay Ray Baserunners

Tampa is one of the best base-stealing teams in baseball. They finished fourth in the majors in stolen bases with 160 on the season. It is very much a weapon for this team and they are not afraid to be aggressive on the base paths. If they are successful they can easily turn those stolen bases into runs.

Jonah Heim will be catching every game this series. It will be on him and the pitchers to try and keep the Tampa Bay running game in check. That means for the pitchers using slide steps and being sure to look over and throw over when necessary. It means for Heim that he will need to have a quick and accurate release. Heim on the season did throw out a career-high 29% of runners this season. He also allowed more stolen bases than every other catcher in the league with 57. This is between being a weakness and a strength.

I would expect Tampa to test Heim early and often throughout this series. Texas is the opposite they do not steal bases. They rely primarily on their offense to generate runs. Tampa will have an advantage in this arena and it will be on Texas to do whatever they can to limit that advantage and ultimately to keep runners off base. If they can do that Texas will be able to keep these games close and have a chance to win the series.

Next: Sibling rivalry that will play a part in this series