Preview: Rangers at Blue Jays

Current Conditions - Toronto
Clear 43 °F
Wind: W 13.8
5-Day Forecast
GAME: Texas Rangers (95-68) at Toronto Blue Jays (91-73)
DATE/TIME: Sunday, October 09 - 7:30 PM EST
WHERE: Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Playoff Series: Divisional Playoff; Toronto leads 1-0

The Toronto Blue Jays refrained from any bat-flipping in the first two games of the American League Division Series despite a plethora of home runs en route to a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series. The Blue Jays try to finish the series when they return home to host the Texas Rangers in Game 3 on Sunday.

The Rangers find themselves in the opposite situation from last fall, when they went up 2-0 on Toronto with two wins on the road only to drop three straight and miss out on a trip to the AL Championship Series. "I learned something last year," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons told reporters. "You know what, you gotta win three games. They've got a great team over there. You don't lead the American League, powerhouse league, you don't luck into that." For Texas to author a turnaround similar to what Toronto did last season, it not only needs to find a way to win in a hostile environment but needs to find some pitchers to keep the ball in the park after surrendering six home runs in the first two games of the series. "We've got to come out, get a clean game from the starter," Rangers manager Jeff Bannister told reporters. "Manage the game from the starting spot. Play good defense and capitalize on run-scoring opportunities, and we've got to start with one (win). It's an uphill battle, one that is going to be a challenge."

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, TBS, Sportsnet (Toronto)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Rangers RH Colby Lewis (6-5, 3.71 ERA) vs. Blue Jays RH Aaron Sanchez (15-2, 3.00)

Lewis surrendered 19 home runs in 116 1/3 innings this season, with six coming in four starts after being activated from the disabled list Sept. 11. The 37-year-old went 0-4 with a 6.38 ERA in those four turns but has been solid in the playoffs in the past, posting a 4-1 record with a 2.38 ERA in nine games (eight starts). Lewis came out of the bullpen against Toronto in the 2015 ALDS and surrendered one run in three innings.

Sanchez led the AL in ERA during the regular season and helped the Blue Jays clinch a spot in the postseason by taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning at Boston on the final day of the regular season. The 24-year-old blew past his projected innings threshold but is showing no signs of slowing with a total of three runs allowed and 21 strikeouts in 19 innings over his last three starts. One of Sanchez's worst outings of the season came at Texas on May 15, when he was lit up for six runs, seven hits and four walks in 6 2/3 innings.


1. Blue Jays SS Troy Tulowitzki is 5-for-9 with a home run and five RBIs in the series.

2. The Rangers are 2-for-19 with runners in scoring position in the series, including 2-for-18 in Game 2.
3. Toronto LHP Francisco Liriano was taken to the hospital Friday for precautionary tests after being struck in the neck by a line drive, but flew home with the team.

PREDICTION: Blue Jays 3, Rangers 2

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Texas 95-68 L3 53-29 42-39 16-18 19-14 47-29 13-7
Toronto 91-73 W4 47-35 44-38 41-36 18-15 19-15 13-7

Last Meeting

Texas Toronto
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
10/6/16 TOR 10 TEX 1 .138 0 .345 .333 2 1.012

Player Stats

Divisional Playoff Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
TEX E. Andrus .667 2 2.000
TOR J. Donaldson 1.000 4 2.500
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
TEX E. Andrus 0 1 0
TOR J. Bautista 1 2 4
Pitching ERA Avg K
TEX 9.00 .138 2
TOR 1.00 .333 6
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
TEX E. Andrus .667 2 2.000
TOR J. Donaldson .667 6 1.700
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
TEX E. Andrus 0 1 0
TOR J. Bautista 2 3 5
Pitching ERA Avg K
TEX 9.00 .138 2
TOR 1.35 .289 18

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Texas Overall Toronto
95-68 W/L 91-73
83-80 RL W/L 81-83
80-73-10 O/U 64-94-6
4.70 Runs For 4.72
4.71 Runs Against 4.08
Texas A/H Toronto
42-39 W/L 47-35
43-38 RL W/L 36-46
37-39-5 O/U 36-43-3
4.20 Runs For 4.95
4.52 Runs Against 4.45