The participants in the American League Championship Series will be settled today, no matter what. I guess that I shouldn't say "no matter what" because, baseball being baseball, it is always at least theoretically possible that a game will stretch into tomorrow. So maybe instead I should say that the games scheduled to begin today will settle the teams in the ALCS. It's Game 5, each series tied 2-2, and the winners of these games are the ones that will advance.
Unfortunately for Orioles fans who are the type to carry a grudge - I won't speak for you, but this number surely includes me - the teams against whom one might carry such a grudge are the home teams today. It's unfortunate because they'll have the home field and home crowd advantage, to the extent that these things may exist in a postseason series.
The greater advantage that the Blue Jays will have - probably - is that their lineup has destroyed left-handed pitching this year and Rangers starter Cole Hamels is left-handed. As for the Royals, I don't even want to talk about them. Perhaps this will be the final day that I must do so for 2015. I don't have very high hopes of that, but it is possible.
Here is today's schedule. Both of these games will be on TV on Fox Sports 1:
4:07pm Eastern: Rangers @ Blue Jays (Series tied, 2-2)
Starters: Cole Hamels (TEX), Marcus Stroman (TOR)
8:07pm Eastern: Astros @ Royals (Series tied, 2-2)
Starters: Collin McHugh (HOU), Johnny Cueto (KC)
|TEXAS RANGERS||TORONTO BLUE JAYS|
|Delino DeShields Jr. - CF||Ben Revere - LF|
|Shin-Soo Choo - RF||Josh Donaldson - 3B|
|Prince Fielder - DH||Jose Bautista - RF|
|Adrian Beltre - 3B||Edwin Encarnacion - DH|
|Mitch Moreland - 1B||Chris Colabello - 1B|
|Josh Hamilton - LF||Troy Tulowitzki - SS|
|Elvis Andrus - SS||Russell Martin - C|
|Rougned Odor - 2B||Kevin Pillar - CF|
|Chris Gimenez - C||Ryan Goins - 2B|
|Cole Hamels - LHP||Marcus Stroman - RHP|