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The Wednesday American League Division Series decisive game thread

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Both American League Division Series come down to this - Game 5, win or go home. If the games are close, it'll make for an exciting day of baseball.

David Banks/Getty Images

The participants in the American League Championship Series will be settled today, no matter what. I guess that I shouldn't say "no matter what" because, baseball being baseball, it is always at least theoretically possible that a game will stretch into tomorrow. So maybe instead I should say that the games scheduled to begin today will settle the teams in the ALCS. It's Game 5, each series tied 2-2, and the winners of these games are the ones that will advance.

Unfortunately for Orioles fans who are the type to carry a grudge - I won't speak for you, but this number surely includes me - the teams against whom one might carry such a grudge are the home teams today. It's unfortunate because they'll have the home field and home crowd advantage, to the extent that these things may exist in a postseason series.

The greater advantage that the Blue Jays will have - probably - is that their lineup has destroyed left-handed pitching this year and Rangers starter Cole Hamels is left-handed. As for the Royals, I don't even want to talk about them. Perhaps this will be the final day that I must do so for 2015. I don't have very high hopes of that, but it is possible.

Here is today's schedule. Both of these games will be on TV on Fox Sports 1:

4:07pm Eastern: Rangers @ Blue Jays (Series tied, 2-2)
Starters: Cole Hamels (TEX), Marcus Stroman (TOR)

8:07pm Eastern: Astros @ Royals (Series tied, 2-2)
Starters: Collin McHugh (HOU), Johnny Cueto (KC)

Today's Lineups

TEXAS RANGERS TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Delino DeShields Jr. - CF Ben Revere - LF
Shin-Soo Choo - RF Josh Donaldson - 3B
Prince Fielder - DH Jose Bautista - RF
Adrian Beltre - 3B Edwin Encarnacion - DH
Mitch Moreland - 1B Chris Colabello - 1B
Josh Hamilton - LF Troy Tulowitzki - SS
Elvis Andrus - SS Russell Martin - C
Rougned Odor - 2B Kevin Pillar - CF
Chris Gimenez - C Ryan Goins - 2B
Cole Hamels - LHP Marcus Stroman - RHP