After a magical ride for the Toronto Blue Jays since the All-Star break, the Jays take to the field at the Rogers Centre in downtown Toronto Thursday afternoon. Note the early start time in this game at 3:30 EST time. A worthy opponent awaits the Blue Jays in this series. As hyped up as Jays’ fans are and how good of a team they have, this isn’t going to be a series where they can go through the motions. The Rangers certainly have the ability to take advantage of that. In any case, no I don’t think the Blue Jays are just going to go through the motions and make an appearance in the postseason. They’ve been waiting for this moment since taking over the Yankees in the AL East. Since assuming the top spot in the division, the Jays didn’t look back and held on to take it. The Yankees are out of the postseason already, after winning the sudden death Wild Card game two days ago against the Houston Astros. So, capturing the division crown was big for the Blue Jays, but there is still work to be done. Considering the way they have been playing and the expectation here, anything less than a series win over the Rangers would leave a bitter taste.
Toronto has a team built to go to the World Series. They went all-in at the trade deadline and are looking to strike gold. The Jays went and got one of the top hitters in the game after already having a top-flight offense. That was great and all, but the problem with the Jays was in the pitching department. They could score runs, but with a lack of an ace I didn’t see the Tulowitzki deal adding much merit to the club, at least towards a World Series win anyway. But then they pulled off a trade with the Tigers, which sent David Price to the Blue Jays. And there it was, the leading pitcher, an ace the Blue Jays so desperately needed. David Price has been playing good and the offense has been 1st since the moves occurred. I said this previously, but I think the moves instilled some motivation into the entire Blue Jays lineup. I believe they realized management is serious about running, so I’m going to be serious about winning as well. The Rangers plan on ruining the party in Toronto. Gallardo and Price meet this afternoon in game 1 of the ALDS at the Rogers Centre.
Texas Rangers vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Yovani Gallardo (13-11, 3.42 ERA) vs. David Price (18-5, 2.45)
For the Rangers to win this series they have to steal it. No one has much confidence in them, but they are capable of doing it. If there is one thing I could find regarding a positive trend for the Rangers, is the fact that they actually have a very favorable history against David Price. There aren’t too many teams around that can say they have frustrated him, but the Rangers own that honor. In eleven starts against the Rangers, Price has tossed a pedestrian 5.15 ERA. The Ranger finished the season up by scoring 19 runs in their final two games. They can do that, but as can the Blue Jays so this might be one interesting series.
I am definitely most interested in this series for certain. The Jays should emerge victorious, but don’t discount the Rangers just yet. Gallardo gets the opening start against the Blue Jays in game 1 of the ALDS. A tall order for him, who is going to be pitching in a mad house at the Rogers Centre. I suspect a jacked up crowd in favor of the Blue Jays Thursday afternoon. He didn’t finish the season off strong, exiting with a 4.20 ERA and 2.00 WHIP. Gallardo will need to be flawless against the Jays today. The odds makers set the price in this game at a point where it is difficult to do anything with. I like the Blue Jays but not at a price of -250. The Rangers and Blue Jays have the two strongest offenses in the postseason and I think they shine today. It has to the OVER or nothing for me in game 1 of the ALDS.
PICK: OVER 8 RUNS (-110)