The American League Wildcard series is set with the Rays heading to Cleveland to take on the Guardians, and the Blue Jays hosting the Mariners.
The Mariners are making their first postseason appearance since 2001, breaking the longest playoff drought in the sport.
The Guardians are the youngest team in Baseball and had 17 players make their MLB Debut this season. The expectation for the Guardians were low to start the season, due to the inexperience and the supposed power of the rest of their division.
Their division faltered hard this year and the Guardians rode a white-hot September to the playoffs. They have Terry Francona, who has proven to be a great manager in the playoffs. The Rays on the other hand are loaded with playoff experience from the last couple of years.
They have superstar wander Franco at shortstop and Randy Arozarena. They seem to develop arms out of thin air. This year they are led by Cy Young contender Shane McClanahan, former stars Corey Kluber and Tyler Glasnow ,and gas-tossing Jeffrey Springs. All signs are pointing to the Rays, but Francona and the young Guardians may not know any different and they are the host.
Again, for the first time since 2001, the Mariners are a playoff baseball team. This is also the first playoff game that Toronto has hosted since 2016, but they did have games in 20 21 but the Canadians and covid aren’t friendly.
The Dome and the Toronto faithful always show up and bring the noise. The Blue Jays have a talented offense with Vlad Guerrero Jr, playoff superstar George Springs, and legacy Bo Bichette, while the Mariner’s offense has slowed in the second half, but they have stars Julio Rodriguez and Ty France.
The top two of the rotations are both very good. Luis Castillo has the best stuff in the group, and Logan Gilbert can spin it. Alek Manoah and Kevin Gausman lead the way for Toronto. There isn’t a ton of separation between them, but if it gets to game 3 this will be a score fest.
— Cleveland Guardians (@CleGuardians) October 6, 2022
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| Title: AL Wildcard Preview
| Author: Matt Catton
| Date: Oct 07, 2022