As this White Sox beat blogger loves to give digs to the Chicago Cubs fans chanting my loudest “1808” during the crosstown classic. But today I’m happy to report that I watched the National League wild card game last night as the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-0 and I was pleasantly surprised. This team looks like they really want it this year and I think 2015 will be a great year for playoff baseball!
The American League Playoffs start today with the Texas Rangers vs. the Toronto Blue Jays and the Houston Astros vs. the Kansas City Royals. During the American League Wild Card game on Tuesday night, find the Astros beat the Yankees 3-0 in New York to advance to the ALDS again the number one spot in the America League, prescription the Royals, who finished their regular season 95-67. Here’s an overview on how these two series will match up.
Texas Rangers vs. the Toronto Blue Jays
Under the new management of Jeff Banister, the Rangers won the AL West with a record of 88-74. A player to watch on the Rangers is third baseman Adrián Beltré with a batting average of .334 in the regular season. The Blue Jays, they ended their 2015 regular season with a 93-69 record and my pick on a player to watch is pitcher David Price who will be taking the mound today with a regular season record of 18-5 and a 2015 season ERA of 2.45, the best in the American League.
Side note: Many White Sox faithful will remember Mark Buehrle who most recently pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays. This past Sunday, rumors started swirling around about Buehrle retiring from the game of baseball at the end of the 2015 season. Here’s a great ESPN article discuss the details of Buehrle potential retirement. Could the Bench Coach spot for the White Sox be in his near future?
Houston Astros vs. the Kansas City Royals
Later this evening the Astros and the Royals will face-off. The Astros ended their regular season with an 86-76 record while the Royals were the best team in the American League with a 95-67 record. As for player to watch, expect the Astros Jose Altuve to have a big series with 200 hits in the 2015 season and a batting average of .353. The Royals have a pretty deep roster of players who are up for the postseason challenge as well and are not strangers to this stage. Center fielder Lorenzo Cain had a .361 batting average during the regular season and when he hits October, his postseason career batting average is .388.
While the local media will heavily cover by the National League Playoffs, I look forward to see how the American League shakes out – especially with two teams from Texas in the postseason. I can guess what their fans are rooting for in the ALCS.