Baseball’s postseason begins tonight with the American League wild-card game. It’s the first time since the two-wild-card system was created in 2012 that the two teams playing in the A.L. game have identical records.
The Jays got the home game by virtue of their 10-9 record against the Orioles this year. Toronto won 10 of the first 17 to clinch that before losing the last two games against Baltimore, just last week in Toronto, so these teams have faced each other quite recently.
Jones CF, Kim LF, Machado 3B, Trumbo DH, Wieters C, Davis 1B, Schoop 2B, Bourn RF, Hardy SS
Blue Jays lineup:
Travis 2B, Donaldson 3B, Encarnacion 1B, Bautista RF, Martin C, Tulowitzki SS, Saunders DH, Pillar CF, Carrera LF
Chris Tillman will start for the Orioles. Marcus Stroman goes for the Jays. And therein lies the tale of this game, or maybe not. These teams are first (Baltimore, 253, and 28 against the Jays) and third (Toronto, 220, and 29 against the Orioles) in home runs in the A.L. this year. Slugfest? Well... Tillman had a 3.63 ERA against the Jays this year, 2.38 in Toronto. But he had an 11.32 ERA against them in 2015, and his lifetime ERA at Rogers Centre is 7.01 in 13 starts.
Meanwhile, Stroman has posted a 7.04 ERA in four starts against the Orioles this year, and he has a higher ERA in his home park (4.59, 16 starts) than on the road (4.14 ERA, 16 starts).
These numbers point to a high-scoring game, which means we’ll likely get a 1-0 pitchers’ duel. Or not.
Today's game is on TBS. Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Ron Darling, Cal Ripken Jr. and field reporter Sam Ryan. (As usual, trying to squeeze too many voices into not enough time.)
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Discuss amongst yourselves.