Legends On Deck

ALDS: Texas Rangers vs. Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays will host the Texas Rangers on Thursday and Friday for the first two games of the ALDS. (mlb.com)

The Toronto Blue Jays will host the Texas Rangers on Thursday and Friday for the first two games of the ALDS.

The winners of the American League East, the Toronto Blue Jays will host the winners of the American League West, the Texas Rangers, on Thursday and Friday afternoons at the Rogers Centre which will most likely be a best of five showdown of who made the best trade this summer.

Game 1 Matchup:

In the first game on Thursday afternoon, RHP Yovani Gallardo (3.42, 13-11) will face off against LHP David Price (2.45, 18-5) who was acquired by the Blue Jays at the trade deadline.

Gallardo has faced the Jays twice this season and come out with a 2-0 record after 13 2/3 scoreless innings. His previous postseason record is 1-2 with a 2.08 ERA, his last playoff appearance was in 2011. Look for Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion and Ben Revere to be successful in the lineup as they have all hit over .300 against Gallardo.

Price, who will definitely be considered in Cy Young talks, was traded from the Detroit Tigers this summer and since joining the Jays has gone 9-1. Price has made ten postseason appearances unlike Gallardo but his record is only 1-5. Elvis Andrus has a career .450 batting average against Price and Josh Hamilton is right there with a .412 average against the lefty. Mike Napoli who was once a division rival against Price has hit just .235 in 34 at-bats but Shin-Soo Choo and Adrian Beltre have both had success hitting over .300 each.

Game 2 Matchup:

On Friday afternoon, the Rangers will send LHP Cole Hamels (3.65, 13-8) to the mound as the Jays send RHP Marcus Stroman (1.67, 4-0) out for game 2.

The Rangers just acquired Hamels this summer but he is no stranger to the playoffs and has a 7-4 record and a 3.09 ERA in thirteen starts. But, has 0-2 career record against the Blue Jays that has also racked up an ERA of 6.97. Justin Smoak and Edwin Encarnacion both have had success against Hamels so look for appearances from both on Friday.

Not even Marcus Stroman himself could have expected that his return from a torn ACL could have played out as well as it has. In his first career playoff start, Stroman is riding in with success from his last four starts in which he has gone 4-0 with a 1.67 ERA. Stroman and the Rangers don’t have much history with each other with the majority of the roster having less than five at-bats against the right-hander.

Further match-up for the remainder of the season will be posted this weekend when pitching match-ups have officially been announced.


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