It’s not the end of the MLB season, but the winner of the American League East could be decided this weekend at Rogers Centre. The Boston Red Sox come north to battle the Toronto Blue Jays in a crucial three game series. The Sox and the Jays have been see-sawing back and forth for the AL East crown since the start of the second half, with each team knocking the other off the top at various points.
Boston enters the series with a one game lead on the Jays after going 4-2 on a 6 game Western swing with Oakland and San Diego (both well under .500). The Blue Jays, on the other hand, were swept in three games by New York at Yankee Stadium to fall out of the lead.
Since it is a three game set, a split is obviously not possible and in the end one of the teams will have a series victory. If the Sox can sweep, it will give them much needed insurance and will increase their lead to 4 games. Since the Blue Jays are a game back, they will have just a 2 game lead if they can do so. However, it is tough for the Jays because a sweep is the only thing that give them the division lead. Taking two of three will only result in a tie. Boston can exit the series with a huge lead, a tie is the very least Toronto can get, the pressure is on them.
The series will open tomorrow night at 7:07 PM ET at Rogers Centre. Boston opens with Cy Young hopeful Rick Porcello, who will try to become the Major’s first 20 game winner this season. Toronto will counter with Marco Estrada, who has been solid this season but very erratic lately, going 3-3 with a 5.31 ERA over his last seven outings. On Saturday it will be Eduardo Rodriguez (2-6, 4.83 ERA) vs. JA Happ (17-4, 3.34 ERA) and Sunday will be Clay Buchholz (6-10, 4.99 ERA) vs. Toronto’s Cy Young contender Aaron Sanchez (13-2, 2.92 ERA).
On the offensive side of the ball, Boston will look to MVP candidate David Ortiz to lead the way. Big Papi has torn the Jays apart at Rogers Centre in the past and has 11 HR and 20 RBI there since 2013. Josh Donaldson’s name is not out of MVP talks either. Last season’s MVP hit a grand slam against the Sox when the two teams first met back in April and has batted .319 against them this year.
It will be very tough to pick who win the series, but one thing is certain, if Boston sweeps, the Blue Jays will be in a whole heap of trouble.
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