ALCS: Kansas City vs. Toronto
The two best records in the AL will meet for the rights to head to the World Series, and rightfully so. Think about the late inning power vs. power scenarios that could potentially unfold here – Josh Donaldson vs. Kelvin Herrera or maybe Jose Bautista vs. Wade Davis? There are numerous possibilities which make this series so intriguing.
As much as we would like to see many of those aforementioned match-ups, there may not be many to see. Toronto’s solid rotation combined with their deep lineup should be too much for Kansas City’s inconsistent starting pitching to give the Royals bullpen a chance to shorten games.However, there are several X-factors for Kansas City that could even this series. If Yordano Ventura finds himself, he becomes a top of the line starter that could silence the Blue Jay bats. His up and down season will have to pick a positive direction if his team is to succeed in the postseason. Johnny Cueto has no room for the disappointing second half he had. Edison Volquez will need to continue his success to keep his team in the game. The Kansas City starting rotation must be able to pitch deep into the game to leave the bullpen with a lead. They won’t have a chance to win unless they get length from their starters, it’s as simple as that. Toronto’s lineup is too good for inconsistent pitchers.
If there’s one advantage KC has, it’s that they’ve done it before. They know what it takes to get to the World Series vs. an opponent who has little postseason experience. If the Blue Jays need to have a game late in the series, they are going to turn to David Price on short rest, which could benefit KC, given Price’s less than impressive playoff track record.
This should be a fun series, considering the two best records from one league get to fight for the right to appear in the Fall Classic. Toronto is a deeper team, and it will show in the ALCS.