Could the Toronto Blue Jays and the Texas Rangers possibly meet up again in the post-season? With 14 games left in Toronto’s season, the odds of this actually happening aren’t that bad
Are the baseball gods conspiring to give us an epic post-season rematch between the Toronto Blue Jays (81-67) and the Texas Rangers (88-61)? If the playoffs began today, and assuming the Blue Jays won the one-game Wild Card playoff matchup, that’s how things would work out.
The Boston Red Sox (84-64) and Cleveland Indians would face each other in the first round, while the Rangers would find themselves playing against whoever ultimately emerges victorious from the Wild Card race. The Blue Jays and the Baltimore Orioles (81-67) are currently tied for the first Wild Card spot with the Detroit Tigers (78-70), Houston Astros (78-70), and Seattle Mariners (78-70) all trailing them by three games for the second spot.
Seattle has the best record of these five teams over its last 10 games, going 8-2, but it also find itself riding a two-game losing streak in a head-to-head matchup against one of last season’s Wild Card teams, the Astros. Every other team is either 5-5 or worse over this span.
The Blue Jays face the Mariners in their next series, so they’ll have an opportunity to pad their current lead over Seattle, or they could see Seattle make up further ground in the Wild Card race, but barring a complete meltdown, Toronto should head into next weekend’s homestead against the now-struggling New York Yankees (77-71, 4-6 in their last 10 games while having lost four straight games) with a continuing hold on a Wild Card spot.
If last year’s playoff matchup between the Blue Jays and Rangers wasn’t enough with its bat flips, tight plays, and emotional atmosphere, a whole new level of drama can be added this year with the Jose Bautista–Rougned Odor fight. This would be the first time the two teams have met since their Texas Showdown in May. That’s a lot of time to let the anger and frustration ferment in both Bautista and Odor.
Toronto won the season series between the two teams 4-3, outscoring the Rangers 36-21, but the Rangers have emerged as one of the best teams in baseball since that time, owning the best record in the American League today. The Rangers would also enjoy home field advantage over the Blue Jays where they’ve gone 48-23 so far for the season (40-38 on the road). The Blue Jays, in contrast, are 39-35 (42-32) on the road, but they’re 1-2 in Arlington this year with a pair of one-run losses.
In a matchup against the Blue Jays and the Rangers, Texas would hold a slight advantage in runs scored whereas Toronto would hold a more pronounced advantage in team ERA and WHIP based on stats for the entire season. The two teams are essentially equal when it comes to fielding percentage.
What are your thoughts on a potential playoff rematch between the Blue Jays and the Rangers? Do the odds now favour the Rangers, or can the Blue Jays burn the Rangers again? Will we see any fireworks between Bautista and Odor? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
*FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Keith Allison UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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