Jays-Royals ALCS preview

By Bob Elliott

Best-of-seven American League Championship Series
(Jays won four of seven meetings)
Blue Jays

Team payroll: Blue Jays $138.0 million (9th).  

Octobers: Two World Series titles, two AL pennants and seven playoff appearances. 

Post-season record: 24-23.  

Last post season: Won 1993 World Series on Joe Carter’s three-run homer against Philadelphia Phillies.  

Manager: John Gibbons.   

2015 Record: 93-69.  

How they got here: Beat the Texas Rangers after trailing 2-0 in the deciding game of the best-of-five series.

Run differential: Plus 221.  

Stud Hosses: 3B Josh Donaldson (.297, 41, 123, .939), DH Edwin Encarnacion (.277, 39, 111, .929), RF Jose Bautista (.250, 40, 114, .913). 

Theme: We live in the 6, we hit BOMBS!

Looking up: LHP David Price (18-5, 2.45, walking 47 and striking out 225 in 220 1/3 innings; C Russell Martin (.240, 23, 77, .787).

Looking down: Roberto Osuna had one blown save and gave up three homer in the first five months of the season with a 1.87 ERA and 16 saves. Since Sept. 1 he had four blown saves, allowing six homers in 12 innings, a 6.00 ERA with four saves.

Canadian content: GM Alex Anthopoulos from Montreal, Ottawa’s Andrew Tinnish assistant GM, Montreal’s Russell Martin, Mississauga’s Dalton Pompey, North Delta B.C. born Jeff Francis, Victoria’s Michael Saunders, Regina’s Andrew Albers and Team Canada WBC-eligible Matt Hague, all saw action this year, bullpen catchers Etobicoke’s Alex Andreopoulos and Greg Densem, of Toronto; RHP Phillippe Aumont, Gatineau, Que. and Markham’s George Kottaras triple-A Buffalo; Peterborough’s C Mike Reeves, Single A Dunedin Blue Jays; LHP Shane Dawson, Drayton Valley, Alta., C Justin Atkinson, North Surrey, BC, RHP Tom Robson, Ladner, BC Single A Lansing RHP Andrew Case, St. John, RHP Sean Ratcliffe, Ajax, Ont. INF Connor Panas, Toronto, Ont. Single-A Vancouver; INF Mattingly Romanin, Burlington, rookie Class Bluefield and Mississauga C Owen Spiwak Rookie Class Blue Jays.

Canadian rootability rating: No. 1. 

World Series odds: 3/1.

Kansas City Royals
Team payroll: $125.4 million (13th)  

Octobers: One World Series, two AL pennants, eight post-season appearances.

Post-season record: 32-30.   

Last post season: Lost Game 7 of the 2014 World Series to the San Francisco Giants. 

Manager: Ned Yost. 

2015 Record: 90-72.  

How they got here: Had one losing month -- September (going 11-17) but won all four October games. 

Run differential: Plus 83. 

Stud Hosses: DH Kendrys Morales (.290 batting average, 22 homers, 106 RBIs and .847 OPS), CF Lorenzo Cain (.307, 37, 98, .838), 1B Eric Hosmer (.297, 18, 93, .822).    

Theme: Anyone see the Giants this fall? 

Looking up: RHP Edinson Volquez (13-9, 3.55, 72 walks, 155 strikeouts in 200 1/3 innings), RHP Yordano Ventura (13-8, 4.08), 58 walks, 156 whiffs in 163 1/3 innings),       

Looking down: RF Alex Rios (.255, four, 32, .640), RHP Johnny Cueto (11-13, 3.44, 46 walks, 176 strikeouts in 212 innings), 

Canadian content: Cambridge’s Scott Thorman managed class-A Burlington and Lonnie Goldberg, who lived in Guelph from 2003-07 and married a Canadian, is KC’s scouting director.

Canadian rootability rating: No. 8. 

 

Game 1

RHP Marco Estrada
13-8, 3.13 in 2015
1-0, 1.42 in ALDS
36-34, 3.95 lifetime
1-1, 2.92 vs. Royals this year
1-1, 2.92 vs. Royals lifetime
0-1, 2.70 lifetime at Kauffman Stadium

RHP Edinson Volquez
13-9, 3.55 in 2015
0-1, 4.76 in ALDS
79-68, 4.29 lifetime
0-1, 2.38 vs. Blue Jays this year
0-4, 6.46 vs. Blue Jays lifetime
8-5, 4.15 lifetime at Kauffman Stadium