2021 MLB Playoffs: ALDS Preview, Schedule, & TV Info
Tampa Bay Rays, 2021 Season
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Wild Card Games have come to an end and it’s now time to officially begin the 2021 MLB Playoffs. The eight best teams in baseball remain — four from each league — as the divisional series’ begin Thursday afternoon.

Here, we’ll be breaking down each round of the postseason as they arrive, giving all of the previews and viewing information needed to enjoy what figures to be an incredible few weeks of baseball.

We’ll start with the two American League Division Series. This round features all three division winners — the Tampa Bay Rays, Houston Astros, and Chicago White Soxas well as the winner of the Wild Card Game, the Boston Red Sox.

Each matchups will play a best-of-five series with each winner moving on to the ALCS. Below, we’ll give a series preview, the schedule, and the TV information for each series in the American League.

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox handled the New York Yankees in the Wild Card Game, and their reward is playing the best team in the American League for the second straight year, the Rays. Over the past few years, the Rays have become the shining example of a complete organization.

Since making it to the World Series in 2020 and losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers, they’ve traded starter Blake Snell, shortstop. Willy Adames, and several bullpen arms. They’ve somehow managed to seamlessly replace them with players from their Minor League system, including superstar prospect Wander Franco.

That they’re the best team in the AL this season is even more impressive when considering that their ace Tyler Glasnow is out for this year and next year after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

The Red Sox have their work cut out for them, but they definitely have the talent to keep up. Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez, Alex Verdugo, Kike Hernandez, and Kyle Schwarber make up one of the deeper offenses in baseball.

The Rays have home-field advantage, but don’t be surprised if this series between AL East opponents goes the full five games.

Rays (100-62) vs. Red Sox (92-70)

Game 1:
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
Thursday, October 7, 5:07 p.m. PT
TV: FS1
TB: Shane McClanahan vs. BOS: Eduardo Rodriguez

Game 2:
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
Friday, October 8, 4:02 p.m. PT
TV: FS1
TB: Shane Baz vs. BOS: Undecided

Game 3:
Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
Sunday, October 10, 1:07 p.m. PT
TV: MLB Network

Game 4 (if necessary):
Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
Monday, October 11, TBD
TV: TBD

Game 5 (if necessary):
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
Wednesday, October 13, TBD
TV: FS1

Houston Astros vs. Chicago White Sox

The fans will undoubtedly be rooting for the young and ultra-talented White Sox in this series, but that has more to do with the Astros’ scandals than anything else. These two teams absolutely ran away with their divisions, and this figures to be one of the better DS matchups.

Years removed from their clouded World Series win, the Astros continue to be a fixture in the postseason. If they ever wanted to prove that 2017 was no fluke, this would be the year to do it, as this is one of the most complete teams in baseball.

The White Sox, however, have a good chance to take them down, as their pitching stands tall next to anyone in MLB. An elite bullpen is hard to come by, but Chicago has it. Liam Hendriks, Criag Kimbrel, Michael Kopech, Aaron Bummer, and Garrett Crochet are among this incredible relief crew.

If the White Sox beat the Astros, it will likely be on the strength of their pitching. But what makes this series so intriguing is that each team’s strength will meet head on.

Astros (95-67) vs. White Sox (93-69)

Game 1:
Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
Thursday, October, 7, 1:07 p.m. PT
TV: FS1
HOU: Lance McCullers Jr. vs. CWS: Lance Lynn

Game 2:
Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
Friday, October 8, 11:07 a.m. PT
TV: MLB Network
HOU: Framber Valdez vs. CWS: Lucas Giolito

Game 3:
Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, Illinois
Sunday, October 10, 5:07 p.m. PT
TV: FS1

Game 4 (if necessary):
Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, Illinois
Monday, October 11, TBD
TV: TBD

Game 5 (if necessary):
Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
Wednesday, October 13, TBD
TV: FS1

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