MLB Playoffs 2011: A Look at Each of Baseball's Divisional Series

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MLB Playoffs 2011: A Look at Each of Baseball's Divisional Series
J. Meric/Getty Images

Well, this should be fun.

Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays capped the most exciting single night in baseball history Wednesday, launching his second home run of the game in the bottom of the 12th inning to beat the New York Yankees and win the AL Wild Card. Before that, the Boston Red Sox blew a ninth-inning lead; the Atlanta Braves did too, and lost in 13 innings; and the St. Louis Cardinals complete a huge comeback with a convincing win over the lowly Houston Astros.

Where does it all leave us? Without even needing a one-game tiebreaker—let alone two—we have seen the first-round playoff matchups in each league fall into place. Longoria's Rays will face the Texas Rangers in one ALDS, while the Detroit Tigers will square off with the Yankees in the other.

On the senior circuit, the Cardinals will have to maintain balance despite all the excitement of Wednesday, as they have the unenviable duty to face the Philadelphi Phillies in one NLDS. The Arizona Diamondbacks and Milwaukee Brewers will contest the other.

Each match-up has all kinds of interesting subtexts, intriguing individual showdowns and major questions. Will injured Cards outfielder Matt Holliday be ready for the first game of the NLDS on Saturday? Who will get the ball in Game 1 for the Rays in Texas? For answers to those and a hundred other questions about these divisional series, check back here often.

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