Texas (2-2) at Toronto (2-2)
When: Wednesday, October 14th, 2015
Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON
Time: 4:05 ET
TV: FOX Sports 1 Radio: XM 176, 89, 80
The Toronto Blue Jays return home where they lost the first two games of this series to take on the Texas Rangers in Game 5 of their American League Division Series. The Jays battered Rangers starter Derek Holland on Monday with 6 runs and 5 hits en route to an 8-4 victory in Arlington to force this deciding game. Toronto went back to the way they’re were winning since the All-Star Break, by hitting the long ball. Josh Donaldson, Kevin Pillar, and Chris Colaballo each homered in Game 4, while Troy Tulowitzki hit a key 3-run homerun in Game 3. The Rangers were held in check by knuckle-baller R.A. Dickey in Game 4 before getting to David Price late. Despite dropping the first two games at home, Toronto was an American League best 53-28 at home tied with Houston. The Rangers were a very good 45-36 on the road, so tonight should be a really good game.
The Blue Jays made it clear that they didn’t want David Price anywhere near this game today as they threw him into Game 4 with Toronto up 7-1. Right now, they feel more confident in Marcus Stroman. He was brilliant in the four starts he made in the regular season, but was hit for 4 runs in 7 innings in the Game 2 start. He didn’t factor into the decision as the game went 14 innings. Texas scored three early runs off of Stroman, but he did settle down until getting into trouble in the 8th. The Rangers will go with Cole Hamels. They acquired him during the summer for exactly these type of games. The former World Series MVP will have his hands full with a Toronto lineup that’s gaining back momentum. Hamels pitched opposite Stroman in the 14 inning game and allowed two earned runs in 7 innings while striking out 6. He did allow a solo homerun to Donaldson.
It seems the Blue Jays played a little tight at home before opening things up on the road. I think Stroman will struggle tonight against this resilient Texas team. Hamels has been here before, but I do worry about the long ball. He tends to serve them up more often than he should. This is a tough one. The price is a little high and if this game comes down to the bullpens, I have to favor the Rangers. Still, tough call. I’ll take the dog since the home team has yet to win a game in this series.
Pick: Rangers +168