For starters, Rays at White Sox, trying to bring it home
UPDATE, 1:12: Maddon reiterated his confidence and belief that even though the Rays need to win out and get help, they will still end up in the playoffs. ... He said of all the lefties he felt Scott had the best chance to match up with Quintana, possibly with power. ... Gimenez is starting because he hits lefties well, but also because Molina is not ready to start. He is available to work late in the game.
UPDATE, 12:09: Gimenez is at catcher again. Scott at DH against the lefty.
After an odd day in which an impressive 10-4 win felt like a loss, the Rays look to keep their slim playoff chances alive until they get home on Monday.
In simplest form, if the Rays win today - and they do have 20-win seeking David Price on the mound - they will ensure they are still playing for something Monday when they open a season-ending three-game series with the Orioles.
On the other extreme, if the Rays lose today and the A's win, the Rays would be eliminated from the postseason.
In between are several other scenarios, including:
* A Rays loss OR wins by both the Orioles and Yankees will eliminate the Rays from the first Wild Card.
* A Rays loss OR a win by either the Yankees OR the Orioles will offically eliminate the Rays from AL East division title race.
To look at it another way:
The Rays could stay alive in the wild card race (and force at least a tie-breaker) if in the remaining 4 games they go:
* 4-0, and three of he following 4 happen: Orioles or Yankees go 0-4 or
worse, A’s go 1-3 or worse and the Angels go 4-1 or worse.
* And the A’s go 0-4 and the Angels go 3-2 or worse.
If there is a tie for the wild-card spot, there would be a tiebreaker game on Thursday, then the one-game wild-card playoff on Friday.
Price is coming off a dazzling start in Boston in which he struck out 13 in a complete game win. He leads the majors with a 2.56 ERA and shares the AL lead with 19 wins. The Sox, who have lost 9 of 11 and are two back of Detroit in the Central race, are starting rookie lefty Jose Quintana.
Lineups when available.