The MLB regular season is over, the Tampa Bay Rays won their division, and now comes the fun part: October baseball.
The Rays push for the pennant starts Thursday when they take on their division rivals: it's just a matter of which rival it will be.
Tampa Bay awaits the winner of the American League Wild Card game featuring the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. That game takes place Tuesday night in Boston.
Since The Rays had the best record in the AL, they'll have homefield advantage regardless of who wins the Wild Card.
Obviously Tampa Bay has a more recent history with New York, as the Rays knocked off the Yankees in last year's ALDS in what was arguably the best series of the entire playoffs. Tempers flared and the rivalry burned like never before.
You have to go back further to the last playoff meeting between the Rays and Sox. The teams last met in the 2013 playoffs when Boston beat Tampa Bay in the division series en route to their World Series win. The other time those teams met in the playoffs was during the Rays' magical 2008 World Series run when they faced off in the ALCS.
Make no mistake, there is no friendliness among any of these 3 teams, and the early rounds of these playoffs should be VERY exciting.
Whichever team the Rays end up facing, Game 1 will be Thursday, Game 2 Friday, Game 3 Sunday, Game 4 Monday, Oct. 11 if necessary and Game 5 on Wednesday, Oct. 13 if necessary.
The other series in the American League will feature the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox. The Rays would play the winner of that series should they get past the Yankees/Red Sox.