Two AL East rivals are squaring off in the American League Division Series this week. The No. 1 Tampa Bay Rays swept the Blue Jays in the Wild Card Series, while the No. 5 New York Yankees swept Cleveland. The Rays evened the best-of-five series at 1-1 on Tuesday, hitting four homers in a Game 2 win. Game 3 is set for Wednesday.

Here is how you can watch the Yankees vs. Rays ALDS matchup. All games will be played at Petco Park in San Diego.

Game 1

Mon., Oct. 5

Yankees 9, Rays 3

LHP Blake Snell vs. RHP Gerrit Cole

TBS

NYY -140; TB +130; O/U: 7

Game 2

Tues., Oct. 6

Rays 7, Yankees 5

RHP Tyler Glasnow vs. RHP Deivi Garcia

TBS

NYY +115; TBR -125; O/U: 8.5

Game 3

Weds., Oct. 7

7:10 p.m. ET

RHP Charlie Morton vs. RHP Masahiro Tanaka

TBS

NYY -130; TBR +120; O/U: 9

Game 4*

Thurs., Oct. 8

7:10 p.m. ET

TBD vs. TBD

TBS

TBD

Game 5*

Fri., Oct. 9

7:10 p.m. ET

TBD vs. TBD

TBS

TBD

* if necessary

The entire ALDS will be played at Petco Park but the Rays have home-field advantage as the higher seed. They will be the home team in Games 1, 2, and 5 while the Yankees will be the home team in Games 3 and 4. The main distinction is the home team bats in the bottom half of the inning.

Here are three things to know heading into the Yankees vs. Rays ALDS matchup.

The Rays dominated the season series

The season series was extremely one-sided. The Rays went 8-2 against the Yankees this season and outscored them 47-34 in the 10 games. Tampa swept a three-game series at Yankee Stadium in August. It was the first time the Yankees were swept in a series of multiple games at home since Aug. 2017.

For what it’s worth, the Yankees and Rays were quite similar outside their head-to-head games. Check it out:

  • Yankees vs. teams other than Rays: 31-19 (plus-58 run differential)
  • Rays vs. teams other than Yankees: 32-18 (plus-47 run differential)

What does it mean? Not much, really. Any of it. The postseason is a clean slate and what happened in the regular season has little bearing on what happens in October. We see it every single year. A team that dominated the season series loses the postseason matchup and the team that gets wiped out in the season series wins the postseason matchup. That’s baseball.

There’s bad blood

The Yankees and Rays definitely do not like each other. Their bad blood dates back to at least 2017 and things really boiled over on Sept. 1 of this season. That night Aroldis Chapman threw a 101 mph fastball over Mike Brosseau’s head, promoting Rays manager Kevin Cash to make a veiled threat with his “whole damn stable full of guys that throw 98 miles an hour.”

Here is the pitch Chapman threw over Brosseau and the ensuing benches clearing incident:

Chapman was suspended three games for the incident but is appealing and the hearing is still pending. He remains eligible to play in the meantime and will be active for the ALDS. I would always bet against bad blood spilling over into the postseason because the stakes are so high, but all bets are off with these two clubs.

“They don’t like us, we don’t like them and it’s going to continue to stay that way,” Rays center field Kevin Kiermaier told reporters, including Erik Boland of Newsday, on Friday. 

First ever meeting in the postseason

This series is a first. The Yankees and Rays have never before met in the postseason. Tampa was one of three American League teams the Yankees had never faced in the postseason, joining the White Sox and Blue Jays. The Rays, in their brief history, have now played a postseason series against every American League team except the Angels, Mariners, Orioles, Royals, Tigers, and Twins. The Yankees and Rays have no postseason history, but there’s plenty of regular season history. These teams know each other extremely well.

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