Tonight starts the American League Championship Series between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Cleveland Indians. If this year’s postseason is any indication, it’s bound to be an exciting series filled with late clutch hits, overpowering pitching performances, and bullpen meltdowns.
As Yankees fans, you should be rooting for Cleveland and former Yankees reliever Andrew Miller because he has a real chance at a ring and is facing the Blue Jays. At this point, Toronto has become incredibly annoying. It’s also easy to root against them since they are AL East rivals. Maybe you like to be different, though. Tell us who you want to win and why.
The Blue Jays got here by defeating the Baltimore Orioles in the Wild Card game. Maybe the one thing any of us will remember from that night is that it’s the game Buck Showalter decided to leave closer Zach Britton in the bullpen until he ran out of pitchers and lost the game. Two teams who will homer you to death, and Toronto proved to be the mightier team.
They moved onto the ALDS in a matchup against the Texas Rangers that was thought to be a more interesting series than it actually ended up being. As talented as the Blue Jays are, the Rangers won 95 games to lead the American League. More was expected from them, but the Toronto bats trucked right through them, easily sweeping the series and advancing.
Cleveland, meanwhile, were the winner of the American League Central Division by a wide margin, and found themselves up against a tough Red Sox team. Hilariously, the Indians were able to completely overmatch Boston, sweeping them in three games to move on. Despite what the official box scores say, these games were not easy wins. In fact, the series-clinching victory was essentially a three-hour heart attack. Between an overworked Andrew Miller and whatever it is Cody Allen does on a nightly basis, it was tough to watch at times. At least we got to see David Ortiz’s career end in tragedy.
Heading into Game 1, the Blue Jays will have Marco Estrada going, while Corey Kluber welcomes Toronto to Progressive Field. Watch out for how well Cleveland can contain the bats of Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Josh Donaldson. Also keep in mind that the Indians are missing several of their best starting pitchers, and their loss will hurt the pitching staff as a whole.
|TORONTO BLUE JAYS||CLEVELAND INDIANS|
|Ezequiel Carrera - LF||Carlos Santana - DH|
|Josh Donaldson - 3B||Jason Kipnis - 2B|
|Edwin Encarnacion - 1B||Francisco Lindor - SS|
|Jose Bautista - RF||Mike Napoli - 1B|
|Russell Martin - C||Jose Ramirez - 3B|
|Troy Tulowitzki - SS||Lonnie Chisenhall - RF|
|Michael Saunders - DH||Coco Crisp - LF|
|Kevin Pillar - CF||Tyler Naquin - CF|
|Devon Travis - 2B||Roberto Perez - C|
|Marco Estrada - RHP||Corey Kluber - RHP|