Blue Jays @ Rangers series preview

By: Tyler Kelaher

Be sure to purchase tickets to our upcoming Pitch Talks event on April 5  at The Royal Theatre featuring: Blue Jays President & CEO Mark Shapiro among many others. You can purchase tickets here.

Mound Match-ups:

April 6th: Marco Estrada, RHP – Matt Moore, LHP

April 7th: Marcus Stroman, RHP – Mike Minor, LHP

April 8th: Jamie García, LHP – Cole Hamels, LHP

 

The Blue Jays and Rangers share plenty of hate since Jose Bautista’s three-run moon shot in Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS. Well, Bautista is long gone and the Jays have a much different look.

Marco Estrada takes the bump in the opening game. He went seven innings while giving up three runs off of four hits in his first outing. He’ll look to redeem his last start at Globe Life Park when he surrendered six runs in 3 2/3 innings.

Toronto won the season series against Texas 4-3 in 2017.

Blue Jays

A 4-3 record is a better start to the season than fans may have expected. After opening at home for the first time in three years, the Jays kick off their first road trip of the season.

The Jays’ four-game winning streak was snapped after a 4-3 loss to the White Sox on Wednesday.

Their bats exploded for 21 runs in their three-game set against Chicago, headlined by a 14-5 thumping to clinch the series win.

Justin Smoak is starting 2018 with a bang, hitting a .385/.467/.808 stat line with nine RBI in his first seven games. He brings a hot bat into the four-game set against the team that drafted him.

Toronto’s hot offense matches up with a Texas pitching staff that’s allowed the sixth most earned runs in the league. The Blue Jays could capitalize at a place they’ve had great postseason success in recent years.

Rangers

The Rangers look to get on track in their home opener on Friday night. An inconsistent offence led to a 3-5 start to the season but has hurt the Jays in the past.

Shin-Soo Choo is averaging .364 against the Blue Jays, with all 11 at-bats against Marco Estrada.

Joey Gallo crushed 41 home runs in 145 games last season. His swing-or-miss approach awarded him a .182 average through eight games, but the 24-year-old is a great power threat.

Watchability Ranking – 7/10

Even without Jose Bautista playing in right field, these teams don’t like each other.

Both of the Rangers’ playoff appearances from 2015-2016 were ended by the Blue Jays. The first consisted of a comeback of the ages and the greatest bat flip in history. The second, a disappointing three-game sweep. Add on the history of bench-clearing and engaging in fisticuffs and a rivalry is born.

The three-game set is the first of two between the two clubs in the month of April.

Tyler Kelaher
kelaher.tyler@yahoo.com