Rangers' rotation a secret, but you can guess 1-2

Hamels, Darvish will start first two; Banister mum on other starters

Rangers' rotation a secret, but you can guess 1-2

ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister is not yet ready to reveal his starting rotation for the American League Division Series, which begins Thursday at 3:30 p.m. CT on TBS.

All that is known is Cole Hamels threw a bullpen session on Monday and Yu Darvish threw his Tuesday. They will be the Rangers' first two pitchers in the postseason, but Banister was waiting for the outcome of Tuesday night's AL Wild Card Game, won by the Blue Jays over the Orioles, 5-2, in 11 innings.

"I don't feel I have to announce it yet," Banister said before that game got underway. "Obviously, we have decided, but until we know who we play … I don't think there is any competitive disadvantage, and I don't think there is any competitive advantage. But until we know who we play, we'll keep that in-house."

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Against the Blue Jays in the regular season, Hamels is 0-2 with a 6.97 ERA in four career starts, while Darvish is 3-2 with a 2.45 ERA in seven starts.

Darvish lost to the O's in the 2012 AL Wild Card Game, allowing three runs (two earned) in 6 2/3 innings in his only postseason appearance. Hamels is 7-5 with a 3.03 ERA in 15 postseason starts, including 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA in two starts against the Jays last season.

Game Date Matchup Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 6 TOR 10, TEX 1 video
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Gm 3 Oct. 9 TOR 7, TEX 6 (10) video

"To have them is going to be huge because we're going to have two aces," third baseman Adrian Beltre said. "Cole and Darvish are great pitchers. Obviously, we wouldn't pick anybody else to pitch the first two games for us any series. It's huge to have two guys to rely on. Having Yu healthy, and especially with the way he's pitched the last two games of the season, it's going to be huge for us. There's no doubt we're excited about that."

Rangers deal with shadows: The Game 1 start time on Thursday means the possibility of dealing with late afternoon shadows at Globe Life Park. The Rangers had a workout on Tuesday that began about the same time as Thursday's game.

But there were overcast clouds -- and no shadows to deal with -- on Tuesday. Friday's game starts at noon, so the Rangers will have no prime-time games in Arlington for Games 1 and 2 -- with Game 5 at home, if necessary, having an undetermined start time.

"It's a lot easier for everybody to come to the field at night, rather than earlier in the day," shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "Obviously, there are a lot of people that work. But it is what it is. We're going to be ready for those two day games, and we know the fans are going to be here, regardless of work or not. It's not the first time that's happened. It's going to be electric and amazing as always."

Rangers beat

• Right-hander Nick Martinez and left-hander Andrew Faulkner threw a simulated game on Tuesday to allow hitters to get extra at-bats. Among those taking their cuts were Shin-Soo Choo and Mitch Moreland, who finished the season with two hits in 28 at-bats.

• The Rangers are 1-9 at home in the ALDS in club history.

• The Rangers have until 10 a.m. CT on Thursday to set their roster for the ALDS. General manager Jon Daniels said they may go right up to the deadline before announcing it.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.