Matchup: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Texas Rangers
Payrolls: Rays ($71.9 million) vs. Rangers ($55.3 million)

Feel-Good Story: The Rays are pretty much a constant feel-good (II) story: They just wrapped up their second AL East title in three years, playing in the most competitive division in sports, against the two undisputed behemoths in their game (the Yanks and Red Sox), both of whom started the year with payrolls more than twice as high as Tampa's. And this is the last go-round for this Rays club as well: Longtime leftfielder Carl Crawford (who was there in the bad old days) is definitely gone, as is closer Rafael Soriano. The Rangers have a manager who nearly lost his job for doing coke (Ron Washington), and a superstar who nearly lost his life to crack (Josh Hamilton), plus they were bought this year by signature badass Nolan Ryan. Still, it's Advantage: Rays

Style Points: Tampa Bay centerfielder B.J. Upton might be the most stylish player in baseball, and not just because he got some tips from us. Their manager, Joe Maddon, even has a dope Buddy-Holly-glasses-and-hoodie steez. But the Rays get major, major, MAJOR deductions for playing in probably the worst ballpark in the history of baseball. Between Hamilton's tattoos and Washington's '70s style, we've got to go Advantage: Rangers

On the Field: All eyes will be on the Yanks-Twins tilt, but this series might have the most combined talent of any this year: two MVP candidates (Hamilton and the Rays' Evan Longoria), one Cy Young possibility (Tampa's David Price), and the likely AL Rookie of the Year (Texas closer Neftali Feliz). Advantage: Rays

Prediction: If Rangers' ace Cliff Lee (he's been injured and inconsistent the second half of the year) can hold his own against Price tomorrow, this will be interesting. My guess is he won't though, so it's Tampa in 4