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Cole Hamels pitches Game 1, Yu Darvish pitches Game 2

The Rangers have announced Cole Hamels will start Game 1 of the ALDS, and Yu Darvish will start Game 2

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers’ starting pitchers for the first two games are Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish, the Rangers announced today. Cole Hamels will start Game 1, on Thursday, and Yu Darvish will start Game 2, on Friday.

This is what, I believe, most folks anticipated would happen. Hamels and Darvish are basically co-aces, but Hamels has more experience in the playoffs and has been pitching all season, so it is understandable he’d get the nod for Game 1. The way the ALDS is set up, either Hamels or Darvish could pitch in Game 5 with at least normal rest, so the specific order won’t impact a potential Game 5 starter.

The Rangers will, of course, be facing the Toronto Blue Jays in the ALDS, after Toronto’s dramatic 11th inning walk off win over Baltimore in the Wild Card Game last night. There has been no announcement as to who will be starting for Toronto.