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MLB Playoffs: Schedules Set, With Rangers Looking To Defend AL Title

The 2011 MLB Playoffs begin on Friday, and while the Boston Red Sox won't be participating for the second straight season, there is still plenty of quality baseball to look forward to, including the Texas Rangers attempting to defend their AL title.

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The 2011 MLB Playoffs kick off on Friday, and while the Boston Red Sox won't be participating for the second straight season, there is still plenty of quality baseball to look forward to.

Led by defending the American League and current AL West champion Texas Rangers, the AL boasts a strong group of teams that are all capable of representing the league in the World Series, and possibly win it.

Joining the Rangers are the AL East winning New York Yankees, the AL Central winning Detroit Tigers and the AL Wild Card winning Tampa Bay Rays.

In the National League, a new champion is guaranteed, with the defensing World Series champion San Francisco Giants missing the postseason entirely. The NL East winning Philadelphia Phillies are the league's top dog and are joined by the NL West champion Arizona Diamondbacks, the NL Central winning Milwaukee Brewers and the NL Wild Card champion St. Louis Cardinals.

Texas will host Tampa Bay and New York plays host to Detroit in the ALDS while Philadelphia will host St. Louis and Milwaukee will host Arizona in the NLDS. Due to the National League's victory in the All-Star game, the NL will host the World Series.

Major League Baseball released the 2011 MLB Playoff Schedule for the entire postseason, with the Yankees and Tigers and Rangers and Rays opening up play on Friday. The two NLDS series will begin on Saturday. Here's the complete schedule (all times Eastern).

2011 MLB Postseason Schedule

ALDS: Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees

Game 1: Detroit at New York - Friday, September 30; 8:37 p.m. EDT (TV: TBS)
Game 2: Detroit at New York - Saturday, October 1; 8:37 p.m. EDT (TV: TBS)
Game 3: New York at Detroit - Monday, October 3; 8:37 p.m. (TV: TBS)
Game 4*: New York at Detroit - Tuesday, October 4; Time TBD (TV: TBS)
Game 5*: Detroit at New York - Thursday, October 6; Time TBD (TV: TBS)

ALDS: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Texas Rangers

Game 1: Tampa Bay at Texas - Saturday, September 30; 5:07 p.m. (TV: TBS)
Game 2: Tampa Bay at Texas - Saturday, October 2; 7:07 p.m. (TV: TNT)
Game 3: Texas at Tampa Bay - Monday, October 3; 5:07 p.m. (TV: TBS)
Game 4*: Texas at Tampa Bay - Tuesday, October 4; Time TBD (TV: TBS)
Game 5*: Tampa Bay at Texas - Thursday, October 6; Time TBD (TV: TBS)

NLDS: St. Louis Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Phillies

Game 1: St. Louis at Philadelphia - Saturday, October 1; 5:07 p.m. (TV: TBS)
Game 2: St. Louis at Philadelphia - Sunday, October 2; 8:07 p.m. (TV: TBS)
Game 3: Philadelphia at St. Louis - Tuesday, October 4; Time TBD (TV: TBS)
Game 4*: Philadelphia at St. Louis - Wednesday, October 5; Time TBD (TV: TBS)
Game 5*: St. Louis at Philadelphia - Friday, October 7; Time TBD (TV: TBS)

NLDS: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Milwaukee Brewers

Game 1: Arizona at Milwaukee - Saturday, October 1; 2:07 p.m. (TV: TBS)
Game 2: Arizona at Milwaukee - Sunday, October 2; 4:37 p.m. (TV: TBS)
Game 3: Milwaukee at Arizona - Tuesday, October 4; Time TBD (TV: TBS)
Game 4*: Milwaukee at Arizona - Wednesday, October 5; Time TBD (TV: TBS)
Game 5*: Arizona at Milwaukee - Friday, October 7; Time TBD (TV: TBS)

* if necessary

Check out the complete 2011 MLB Postseason Schedule, including dates for the ALCS, NLCS and the World Series on MLB.com. Follow along with the 2011 MLB Postseason with our stream and Baseball Nation.