MLB Playoffs 2012: 4 Players Who Must Deliver in Wild Card Play-Ins

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MLB Playoffs 2012: 4 Players Who Must Deliver in Wild Card Play-Ins
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
It's been an up and down season for Josh Hamilton. It's time to step up.

For the first time, the MLB Wild Card teams will be decided by a one-game playoff before the official start of the postseason. 

Four teams will be reduced to two after just one afternoon of baseball, and the stage is set for outstanding individual performances to steal the day. 

The Baltimore Orioles put together a fantastic season in the AL East, but fell just short of catching the New York Yankees for the division title. On Friday, the O's will face the Texas Rangers, who must recover from suddenly dropping their division lead into the hands of the gritty Oakland Athletics on the final day of the regular season.

In the National League, defending champion St. Louis Cardinals must battle against the NL East stalwart, the Atlanta Braves, in order to give themselves a shot at retaining the title. 

Sudden-death baseball will be a sight to see on Friday. The following four players carry the fates of their teams on their shoulders and will play a big role in deciding the outcome. 

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