Both of the American League Division Series
punch kick off today! Here's a quick look at each.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Texas Rangers
(Wild Card vs. AL West)
First pitch: 1:38 p.m. (Marco Estrada vs. Cole Hamels)
Preview: Former A's! Division rivals! Punchy attitudes!
Former A's: Josh Donaldson for the Jays, Colby Lewis for the Rangers. That feels like a potential mismatch.
Rooting interest? You can't go wrong here. In terms of the Rangers, you might automatically root against the division rivals, or you might automatically root for the team that's never won a title. One thing is universally true, though: It's illegal to root against Adrian Beltre. Do that elsewhere, please. As for the Jays, you might be rooting for our old friend Donaldson to get as far as possible or you might not care much one way or other about a team on another side of another country.
|TORONTO BLUE JAYS||TEXAS RANGERS|
|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|
* * *
Boston Red Sox at Cleveland Indians
AL East vs. AL Central
First pitch: 5:08 p.m. (Rick Porcello vs. Trevor Bauer)
Preview: The mighty Sox lineup, a blend of youth and a really, really old guy! The terrifying Cleveland rotation, now with fewer good starters!
Former A's: Drew Pomeranz, Brad Ziegler, and Chris Young for Boston ... Coco Crisp, Rajai Davis, and Dan Otero for Cleveland. There are some serious Oakland favorites on both sides of that list.
Rooting interest? Not particularly. You might hate the Red Sox, for general big market East Coast-ness or because they knocked us out in 2003, or you might not care one way or other about them. You might like the Indians because they're a smaller market team who doesn't often make the playoffs (plus they have Coco), or you might want Cleveland to lose every sport forever after the Cavs successfully petitioned the NBA to have the Warriors' championship ceremonially awarded to LeBron instead.
|BOSTON RED SOX||CLEVELAND INDIANS|
|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|
* * *
Who are you rooting for? Join the conversation in the comments!