It’s been a day for the birds in MLB.
The Toronto Blue Jays clinched their first AL East title since 1993 with a 15-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles in the first game of a doubleheader at Camden Yards in Baltimore. Marcus Stroman improved to 4-0 while Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Justin Smoak homered. The doubleheader had to be played due to a rain out yesterday in Baltimore. Interestingly, a majority of the fans at today’s game were Jays fans who traveled from Toronto to see their team reach the post-season in person.
Currently, the Jays own the best record in the AL. If this holds then they will face the winner of the AL Wild Card Game in the ALDS. If the season were to end today that game would be between the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels who supplanted the Houston Astros for the second AL Wild Card spot yesterday. But the Angels are only two games back of the Texas Rangers in the AL West and play a four game series against the Rangers in Arlington beginning tomorrow. The Minnesota Twins also have a chance at the second AL Wild Card spot. Whoever wins the AL Wild Card game their next destination will be in Toronto.
The Jays turned their season around with the acquistion of Troy Tulowitzki from the Colorado Rockies and David Price from the Detroit Tigers at the end of July. When the Jays acquired the pair they were 50-51 and 8 games back of the New York Yankees and in third place behind the Orioles. Since then, they have gone 42-14 and have become both the toast of baseball and the toast of Canada.
The St. Louis Cardinals clinched their third consecutive NL Central title beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-1 in the second game of a doubleheader at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park. As with the Jays, yesterday’s Cardinals-Pirates game was postponed due to rain. Unlike the Jays, however, the Cardinals have led the division since April 17th. While the Pirates’ 96 wins and the Chicago Cubs’ 93 wins were good enough to win any other division in baseball they take a back seat to the Cardinals who won their 100th game of the season tonight. The Cardinals will face the winner of the Pirates-Cubs matchup in the NLDS.
The only division left to be determined is the AL West. The Texas Rangers have a two game lead on the Los Angeles Angels and a 2 1/2 game lead on the Houston Astros. As mentioned earlier, the Rangers host the Angels for a season ending four game series. Meanwhile, the Astros travel to Phoenix to play the Arizona Diamondbacks in an interleague series beginning Friday.
But it must be emphasized that this day was for the birds and it is quite possible the same could potentially be said for the World Series.
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