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AL Divisional Series’ Game 1: Open Games Thread

Love that midday West Coast scheduling.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

They say familiarity breeds contempt, and today there are four teams playing we are more than familiar with. It is tough to pick one to root for, and while we as staff have declared our temporary allegiances, your heart may lie elsewhere. Either way, these should be exciting games between teams with plenty of history and, dare I say it, they just don’t like each other.


I’m being told that phrase is actually trademarked jointly by the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. My apologies.

Toronto at Texas - 1:30 PM PT

Two potent offenses with so much green space to cover in their fields that outfielders have nightmares just thinking about it. Rangers’ veteran Cole Hamels will face Marco Estrada of the Blue Jays today. Estrada’s standard numbers are not as impressive as Hamels’, who has steadily continued to be one of the better pitchers in the league, even as he posted a career high 3.98 FIP in his seventh straight 200+ IP season. Surprisingly, however, Estrada’s effort this year led to a 3.0 fWAR season, the best of his career, and exactly the same as what Hamels was awarded.

Today's Lineups

Devon Travis - 2B Carlos Gomez - LF
Josh Donaldson - 3B Ian Desmond - CF
Edwin Encarnacion - 1B Carlos Beltran - DH
Jose Bautista - DH Adrian Beltre - 3B
Russell Martin - C Rougned Odor - 2B
Troy Tulowitzki - SS Jonathan Lucroy - C
Kevin Pillar - CF Mitch Moreland - 1B
Melvin Upton Jr. - LF Elvis Andrus - SS
Ezequiel Carrera - RF Shin-Soo Choo - RF
Marco Estrada - RHP Cole Hamels - LHP

FiveThirtyEight - 54% Rangers win.

Boston at Cleveland - 5:00 PM PT

Boston’s Rick Porcello is the most likely Cy Young winner for an AL race that lacked a dominant frontrunner. While his #winzz will undoubtedly help, Porcello has also been superb all year regardless of run support. Noted mechanical and pitching theory tinkerer, Trevor Bauer, will be his counterpart for Cleveland. The twenty-five year old is concluding his best year as a pro and will have to avoid the home run bug and deliver their potent bullpen a lead for any shot of this limping Cleveland team to knock off the Sox.

Today's Lineups

Dustin Pedroia - 2B Carlos Santana - DH
Brock Holt - 3B Jason Kipnis - 2B
Mookie Betts - RF Francisco Lindor - SS
David Ortiz - DH Mike Napoli - 1B
Hanley Ramirez - 1B Jose Ramirez - 3B
Xander Bogaerts - SS Lonnie Chisenhall - RF
Jackie Bradley - CF Coco Crisp - LF
Sandy Leon - C Tyler Naquin - CF
Andrew Benintendi - LF Roberto Perez - C
Rick Porcello - RHP Trevor Bauer - RHP

FiveThirtyEight - 58% Red Sox Win