MLB Playoffs Daily: Rays, Astros start up ALCS duel for a pennant

8:00 AM ET

ESPN.com staff

Jae C. Hong/AP Photo

Even though only one division series among the MLB quartet of matchups went the full five-game distance, we’re back in action after a one-day break with the American League Championship Series of the 2020 MLB playoffs getting into gear, pitting the defending AL champs from Houston against the top-seeded team from Tampa Bay. It’s the last break the two teams will get until one of them is eliminated, and one is headed to the World Series.

Key links: Power Rankings | Predictions | Schedule, bracket | Playoff Baseball Classic

What’s on tap

All times Eastern; all series best-of-seven played at neutral sites

Game 1: No. 6 Houston Astros (Framber Valdez) vs. No. 1 Tampa Bay Rays (Blake Snell), 7:37 p.m. in San Diego

It’s easy to look at both championship series and fixate on the possibility of seven games and seven days, and look at each matchup as it were overlaid with a seven-day grid. That’s not how the postseason works though, and even in a compressed format such as this, clubs will worry about winning the game at hand, first and foremost.

<img data-lazyload="true" data-src="https://a.espncdn.com/photo/2020/0926/mlb_playoff-preview_3x2.jpg" class="round

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