The One-Game Playoffs: Orioles vs. Rangers, Cardinals vs. Braves

Playoff baseball is finally here.

What does this mean? Well, outside of the die-hard of die-hard baseball fans who sat through a laborious 162-game schedule, watching baseball that is truly worth a damn is now a real option. Goosebump City can occur on any pitch or swing of the bat, and to answer Maximus' ultimate question...yes, that is why we are here.

What's even more astounding is this: along with the fact that this is the first chance we get to see the one-game playoff format play out, there are four TSFJ scribes who have allegiances to these teams. Matt vs. Ed in the opening game between the Cardinals and the Braves at 5 PM Eastern, along with the The NFL Chick vs. Kenny as the Rangers and Orioles face off at 8 PM Eastern.

Needless to say, there will be two writers here who will be really sad before the weekend even started. Check out our thoughts on the one-game playoffs, and let us know who you think will win and advance in the comments section.

Baltimore Orioles - I can sum up in two words what I expect from my Baltimore Orioles for today's sudden death playoff game: Orioles Magic. I have no idea how the O's got to their first winning season in 15 years ( my senior year of HS), because the stats dont add up to the wins. Sometimes, it's not about the specifics. When it comes together, it just does. The O's have fought too hard to get to the point of now and lose. I expect from them what they've given this fan base all season long. Orioles Magic. BUCKling up for the ride... -- The NFL Chick

Texas Rangers - If the Texas Rangers have any intention of seriously defending their AL crown and making a third consecutive trip to the World Series, they will have to do so while playing some of their sorriest and sloppiest ball as of late. The Rangers had a five-game lead with nine left to play, only to lose that lead. The Oakland Athletics stormed back from as many as 13 games out of first place during the summer to win the AL West on the last day of the season. Texas has experience and something to prove on their side, as the stench of last year's collapse in Game Six of the World Series hovers over every Rangers fan's mind. However, do they have the same skill, will and luck to do what they've done in the past two seasons? The one thing they don't have in their favor is the confidence of playing well down the stretch. They can reclaim that tonight when they face the Baltimore Orioles, but the Os are playing with a "never-say-die" attitude, just as the As have, which makes this Rangers fan extremely nervous. -- Kenny

St. Louis Cardinals - The National League will play host to the best match up possible of the new "one and done" Wild Card round: the team of destiny, the Atlanta Braves, hosting the finale of Chipper Jones' pre-Hall of Fame run vs. the defending World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals. However, when it's truly broken down to it's head up nature, it's about the Cardinals' bats taking down the Braves' arms. Led by the sensational Kris Medlen, who has spear headed 22 straight Braves wins, the Braves seem to hold a double advantage on Friday afternoon in Atlanta. However, the Cardinals will send the most underrated pitcher of the year in Kyle Lohse to the mound, to hold the reins for the potent STL lineup to pick it's spot.

It's going to be a tough game, where inches look like acres, but the Cardinal lineup is too much keep down for too long, and with all hands of deck, the Braves sensation Medlen will run into an offering far too deep to constantly impose his will on.
The Cardinals win in a close one, and head back home for the Nationals to get series play underway. -- Matt Whitener

Atlanta Braves - There's an old man who's not here with us today that will sorely be missed. He was the king of cussing people out, he was sage with wisdom and advice, and he had the eagle eye in knowing what needed to be done versus any opponent. That old man is Bobby Cox, one of the greatest men I've ever known. His leadership will always be irreplaceable, but that torch had been passed to another man soon being able to use his senior discount for free coffee at Denny's.

Larry Wayne Jones. You might know him as Chipper. Chip the Rip is 40, and this is the man's swan song. Honestly, it wouldn't matter who you put in front of the Braves, but it just so happens to be the defending World Series champs, the St. Louis Cardinals. The challenge has been accepted, and it's time to prove that there still can by a country for old men. #TomahawkChop -- Ed.

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