Series preview: Texas Rangers vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Let's have a look at one of the American League Division Series matchups, this one between Texas and Toronto.
Toronto Blue Jays
Season record: 93-69
Home record: 53-28
Away record: 40-41
Key players: David Price (SP), Josh Donaldson (3B), Jose Bautista (RF)
Key injuries: None
Projected starters: Unannounced [likely Price, Marcus Stroman, Marco Estrada, R.A. Dickey, Price]
Here's what you need to know:
The Blue Jays have the best offensive lineup in the Major Leagues. Picking up Donaldson mid-season turned them into a fringe playoff team into World Series contenders. Ace David Price, another midseason acquisition, anchors a solid pitching staff. This team is beastly and will strike fear into the whole league.
Season record: 88-74
Home record: 43-38
Away record: 45-36
Key players: Prince Fielder (1B), Adrian Beltre (3B), Cole Hamels (SP)
Texas snuck into the playoffs out of the AL West, storming back and beating out the Astros and the Angels for the top spot in the division. It's a team with quite a bit of power coming from the bats of Fielder, Beltre, and Mike Napoli, but the pitching isn't going to blow anyone away. They're a playoff team, but not much more.
This series should be a walk in the park for the Blue Jays, who are the pick for most to reach the World Series out of the American League. I don't see Texas getting in their way. I'm picking Toronto in 3, a clean sweep of the Rangers, who will be exhausted having fought so hard just to get into the playoffs in the first place. Texas ace Hamels cannot out-duel Price and Toronto will dominate in the other games.