It was a tough day for the Chicago White Sox. Alex Colome, Garrett Crochet and Eloy Jimenez all had health issues. The team, however, lost 6-4 against the Oakland A’s in an elimination game. The four teams that have advanced to the ALDS are now known. What are the two series?
Rays vs Yankees
In perhaps the most fascinating match up of the postseason, the number seed and first place Tampa Bay Rays took eight out of ten against the Yankees in the regular season. The Rays and Yankees had the #1 and #2 most injuries in baseball this year, respectively, and for the first time of meeting, either team is remotely healthy. Tampa is still missing key pieces such as All-Star Austin Meadows, and pitchers Colin Poche and Yonny Chirinso, but they did recently get back Yandy Diaz and Ji-Man Choi. They pitched DJ LeMahieu up and in all year, and eventually the Yankees retaliated when Aroldis Chapman threw a fastball at the head of Michael Brosseau. Rays’ Manager Kevin Cash has said he “has a whole stable of guys who throw 98.” The Rays retaliated by Brosseau having a two homerun game the next night.
The Yankees have an outstanding lineup while the Rays have an outstanding pitching staff. Which team will come out on top? The series starts Monday at Petco Park in San Diego. Petco Park was the home park for Rays slugger Hunter Renfroe as well as Manuel Margot, two of their hottest hitters in the postseason, until this season. The Rays took two against the Blue Jays, while the Yankees lineup absolutely destroyed the Cleveland Indians.
Athletics vs Astros
Following a leadoff single from Chicago catcher James McCann, Liam Hendriks stranded runner in the ninth in a 6-4 game by striking out Yoan Moncada, Luis Robert and Nomar Mazara. Hendriks completed the save just after a bad game the night prior, sending the Athletics to the ALDS against the Houston Astros, in another intra-division ALDS series. In 2020, the A’s averaged 3.8 runs scored per game against Houston, while giving up an average of 2.5 They went 7-3 against the Astros in the regular season.
This comes as a surprise opponent for the Athletics, as the under .500 Astros took both games at Target Field in Minnesota. The AL Central got a total of one victory between their three teams in the postseason this year, game one when the White Sox defeated the A’s. In a dramatic twist, the neutral site for the Astros series? Dodger Stadium. This was the first series win in the postseason for the Oakland Athletics since their ALDS win over the Minnesota Twins in 2006.
Both series will start Monday. Which matchup are you more excited for? Tweet me @TheJameus.