ARLINGTON, Texas -- The AL wild-card game features RHP Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers and LHP Joe Saunders of the Baltimore Orioles. The game starts at 7:37 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and TBS. A quick look at the matchup:
Darvish (16-9, 3.90 ERA): This is Darvish's postseason debut in the big leagues, but he has pitched in the Nippon Professional Baseball playoffs five of the last six years. ... He was 8-2 with an 1.38 ERA with five complete games, 22 walks and 91 strikeouts in 11 career postseason starts. ... He earned the win in the fifth and deciding game of the 2006 Japan Series to give the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters their first NPB championship since 1961. ... Darvish led all MLB rookies with 221 strikeouts and 191 1/3 innings and he tied for first in wins. ... He had the third-lowest AL opponent batting average at .220 and was fifth in strikeouts and fourth in walks (89).
Saunders (9-13, 4.07 ERA): The veteran has helped give the Orioles some key innings since the acquired him from Arizona in August. ... He is 3-2 with a 2.75 ERA in September, though only two of those starts were against playoff teams. ... He's 3-7 with a 6.48 ERA in 11 career starts against Texas, including 0-6 with a 9.38 ERA in six previous starts at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. ... Saunders has started four playoff games in his career and is 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA in those starts. His last one came in 2011, when he gave up three runs in three innings in the NLDS.
Hitters: Ian Kinsler (10-for-24, 4 HR, 8 RBIs), Nelson Cruz (6-for-20, 2 HR, 3 RBIs), Michael Young (10-for-28, HR, 3 RBIs) and Geovany Soto (4-for-6, HR) have hit Saunders well. ... Darvish has never pitched against the Orioles.