By: Daniel Satter
Today, the winner of Game 5 will advance to the ALCS for best of off 7 match up against either the Royals or Astros. This series was looked to be over after the Rangers took a 2-0 lead in the series, but the Blue Jays showed up and took the last 2 games to tie up the series that puts both teams in a win-win situation.
The Rangers and Blue Jays will send out the pitching match up that appeared in game 2. Cole Hamels (13-8, 3.65 ERA, 215 K’s) will be sent to take the mound. Hamels had a good start in Game 2, but will need to be perfect to finish off the Blue Jays. Hamels pitched 7 innings, giving 4 runs with only 2 being earned and striking out 6 batters while walking none. The Blue Jays will send Marcus Stroman to the mound. Stroman was very good in Game 2 by going 7 innings, giving up 4 runs with 3 being earned. Stroman will have a better idea on how to pitch these Rangers hitters and quiet their bats.
In addition, Hamels needs to be careful with Edwin Encarnacion. Encarnacion has had a good series, but will top it off with 2 homers. Encarnacion was a force against Derek Holland and will look to get revenge on Hamels after he went 0-for-5 in Game 2. In Encarnacion’s career against Hamels in the regular season shows that he has hit .667 (3 at bats) with 1 homer. Now, Stroman has a bigger threat than what Hamels has to deal with. Stroman has to go against the clutch hitting Adrian Beltre. Beltre has hit .600 in the postseason so far and will look to impress. Beltre did not face Stroman in Game 2 due to a back injury. Beltre faced Stroman in the regular season and is hitting .333 (3 at bats) against the young right hander.
Prediction: Blue Jays win 4-2 because the Rangers have played poorly the last 2 games and have already won twice in Toronto this series and the Blue Jays will deliver a special win to their fan base at home.