These teams do not like each other. At all.
This started with Jose Bautista's bat flip in last year's division series Game 5 in Toronto. Then the Rangers hit Bautista this year -- but not until the final game of the regular season between the two teams, and that was in mid-May. Bautista then took out Rougned Odor with a rough (though apparently legal) slide to try to break up a double play, and then this happened:
If that doesn't fire these clubs up for this series, nothing will. The Blue Jays won the season series four games to three.
Gomez LF, Desmond CF, Beltran DH, Beltre 3B, Odor 2B, Lucroy C, Moreland 1B, Andrus SS, Choo RF
Blue Jays lineup:
Travis 2B, Donaldson 3B, Encarnacion 1B, Bautista DH, Martin C, Tulowitzki SS, Pillar CF, Upton LF, Carrera RF
Marco Estrada will start for the Blue Jays and Cole Hamels for the Rangers. At first this might seem a mismatch, but Estrada's had a pretty good year despite a pedestrian 9-9 W/L record. He led the American League in fewest hits per nine innings. Hamels, I am sure you are familiar with from his long tenure with the Phillies and his no-hitter against the Cubs last year. He had a fine year right in line with his career norms.
Today's game is on TBS. Announcers: Brian Anderson, Dennis Eckersley, Joe Simpson, Matt Winer.
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Discuss amongst yourselves.