ALDS open Thursday

UNDATED (AP) — The two American League Division Series begin on Thursday.

The top teams in the AL East are squaring off in the Division Series. The Red Sox led the division by 4 ½ games on July 7, only to finish eight games behind the Rays. Tampa Bay won the season series, 11-8 despite losing their first four meetings with Boston.

Shane McClanahan starts Game 1 for the Rays on Thursday after going 10-6 during the regular season. He’ll be opposed by Eduardo Rodriguez.

Chris Sale could start Game 2 against rookie Shane Baz.

Bosox manager Alex Cora said Wednesday that he’s not sure J.D. Martinez will be available due to an ankle injury.

The White Sox and Astros were separated by just two wins as they captured their respective division titles, but Houston took the season series, 5-2. The Astros are making their fifth consecutive postseason appearance. The White Sox are in consecutive playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

A pair of Lances are the Game 1 starters. Lance Lynn pitches for the White Sox after going 11-6 with a 2.69 ERA in the regular season. The Astros counter with Lance McCullers Jr., who was 13-5 with a 3.16 ERA.

The Astros will send Framber Valdes to the mound for Game 2 against Lucas Giolito.