October baseball is again in Toronto.
The Blue Jays are set to start the MLB post-season in opposition to the Seattle Mariners in a best-of-three wild-card sequence at Rogers Centre this weekend.
Here are 10 issues you need to know earlier than the playoffs start on Friday afternoon.
The 2022 wild-card format will look a bit of totally different than it has in the previous. The league scrapped the one-game sudden-death format that had been in place since 2012 and changed it with a best-of-three sequence in which all three video games are performed on the larger seed’s dwelling ball park.
That means there might be video games Friday (4:07 p.m.), Saturday (4:07 p.m.) and Sunday (2:07 p.m.), nonetheless the Sunday sport will solely be triggered if the groups cut up the primary two.
“It adds a layer of comfort. You are staying in your own bed, you have your own environment and clubhouse and people you are familiar with and you put that on top of a stadium full of Blue Jays fans it makes it very exciting,” Jays Manager John Schneider mentioned of a possible dwelling filed benefit throughout a press convention on Thursday. “I think the atmosphere in this building in the postseason speaks for itself. We are excited to be part of that.”
Jays’ beginning pitcher for Game 1
All-Star ace Alek Manoah will get the beginning for the Blue Jays on Friday in his first-ever post-season look. The 24-year-old is having a breakout sophomore season in the large leagues, posting a 2.24 ERA and a 16-7 file.
And he’s proven no indicators of slowing down, having simply been named the American League pitcher of the month for September.
Speaking with reporters on the Rogers Centre on Thursday, he mentioned that he’s making an attempt to deal with his MLB playoff debut as “just another game” however on the identical time appreciates what’s at stake.
Rogers Centre is photographed in the course of the Toronto Blue Jays’ apply, forward of the workforce’s wildcard sequence matchup in opposition to the Seattle Mariners in Toronto, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alex Lupul
“This is what it is all about. You train all off-season, you train all year, you go through the ups and downs and this is what it is all for, the bright lights, post season baseball,” he mentioned. “This is what you dream of as a kid. So for me I am just go to go out there have some fun and play some baseball. I love playing with these guys, we like playing with each other and that is all we have to do, just go play baseball.”
Blue Jays followers who’ve been lacking playoff baseball in Toronto may need to ask a Mariners fan how they really feel. Seattle hasn’t certified for the post-season in 21 years.
During the common season, the Jays and Mariners performed one another seven occasions. Toronto gained the primary two however the Mariners bested the Jays 4 straight occasions throughout a sequence in July.
Blue Jays Manager Charlie Montoy was fired following that sequence and changed by Schneider on an interim foundation.
“You can kind of take some things from it and leave some things from it,” Schneider mentioned on Thursday when requested concerning the four-game sweep by the hands of the Mariners. “We are a totally different team than we were then and I think they are different too. Right now I think everyone is just singularly focused on the task at hand and not what happened earlier in the year and we feel good about where we are right now.”
The Jays haven’t formally introduced who’ll get the beginning pitching in video games two or three, however the seemingly order might be Kevin Gausman adopted by Ross Stripling. Jose Berrios might be on the roster as properly for insurance coverage out of the bullpen.
The Jays’ late-inning arms might be led by nearer Jordan Romano and can embrace Toronto’s solely lefty, Tim Mayza, together with mid-season pick-up Anthony Bass.
As for place gamers, Jays followers can anticipate to see the standard suspects, together with slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and shortstop Bo Bichette.
The Mariners, who’ve a robust rotation of their very own, introduced Tuesday that righty Luis Castillo would begin in Game 1, adopted by former Blue Jay Robbie Ray in Game 2.
Ray gained the AL Cy Young award with the Jays final season and Saturday might be his first begin in Toronto since leaving the membership to be a part of the Mariners in the low season.
The Mariners’ bullpen had the seventh-best reduction ERA in the baseball this 12 months, with veteran nearer Paul Sewald main the way in which.
Unsurprisingly, all three video games are bought out on Ticketmaster as of Thursday.
Across the most important leagues as we speak
It’s a jam-packed weekend of baseball, as all 4 MLB wild-card sequence might be performed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (if essential).
The different AL wild-card sequence between the Cleveland Guardians and the Tampa Bay Rays begins as we speak at 12:07 p.m., formally kicking-off the post-season.
Over in the National League, the St Louis Cardinals face-off in opposition to the Philadelphia Phillies and the San Diego Padres go to the New York Mets.
Rain isn’t forecasted for Toronto this weekend and whereas Friday may convey some cloudy skies in the afternoon, Saturday and Sunday are wanting sunny.
The forecast reveals highs of 15 levels on Friday and Sunday – 12 on Saturday.
If the Jays advance
The Jays can be sensible to reap the benefits of the home-field-advantage they earned in the wild-card spherical, as a result of they gained’t have it in the event that they advance to the ALDS.
The Jays’ second-round opponent can be the American League-leading Houston Astros, who’ve secured home-field benefit all through the AL playoffs.
Can Toronto win the World Series?
With home-field-advantage, the Jays have probability of advancing previous the Mariners, however vanquishing the Astros might be a tall activity. If the Jays can pull-off the upset, they might end-up assembly their division rivals, the New York Yankees in the ALCS.
The Jays at present have a 2.9 per cent probability to win the World Series, in accordance baseball reference.