Rangers-Jays ALDS preview

By Bob Elliott

American League Division Series
(Jays won four of six meetings this season)

Texas Rangers
Team payroll: Rangers $151.8 million (7th) 

Octobers: Zero World Series, two AL pennants and seven playoff appearances 

Post-season record: 21-26.  

Last post season: Lost 2012 AL wild card to Baltimore Orioles.  

Manager: Jeff Bannister. 

Record: 88-74. 

How they got here: Were 10-14 in July and 50-53 on Aug. 1, then had back-to-back 18-10 months.   

Run differential: Plus 18.  

Stud Hosses: DH Prince Fielder (who had a .305 batting average, 23 homers, 98 RBIs and an .841 OPS); RF Shin-Soo Choo, a good friend of Toronto Mets coach Hyung Cho, (.276, 22, 82, .838) and 1B Mitch Moreland (.278, 23, 85, .812).

Theme: The stars at night, are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas,

Looking up: RHP Yovani Gallardo (13-11, 3.42, 68 walks, 121 strikeouts in 184 1/3 innings), LHP Cole Hamels (13-8, 3.65 ERA with 62 walks, 215 strikeouts in 212 1/3 innings), RP Shawn Tolleson (6-4, 2.99, 35 saves, 17 walks, 76 strikeouts in 72 1/3 innings).

Looking down: CF Delino DeShields (.261, two, 37, .718, 25 steals), SS Elvis Andrus (.258, seven, 62, .667).      

Canadian content: C Kellin Deglan, Langley, B.C. and RHP Kyle Lotzkar, Tsawwassen, B.C. Double A Frisco.   
Canadian rootability rating: No. 9 (out of 10 teams to make post-season play) 
World Series odds: 12/1.

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: 21-20.  

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

Manager: John Gibbons.   

Record: 93-69.  

How they got here: The Jays were 50-51 when Troy Tulowitzki stepped onto the Rogers Centre carpet for the first time. They then steamrolled going 42-14.   

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: They’re back and rested, even David Price is on 11 days rest, longest for a post-season starter since Hall of Famer Red Ruffing with the 1939 New York Yankees. 

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.