MLB: A Retrospective Of October 2020, ALWC (TB/TOR)

(originally written October 2020)

Wild Card Round Matchups: TOR/TB  CHW/OAK  HOU/MIN  NYY/CLE  MIL/LAD  CIN/ATL  MIA/CHC  STL/SD

Division Series Matchups: NYY/TB  HOU/OAK  SD/LAD  MIA/ATL

Championship Series Matchups: HOU/TB  ATL/LAD

World Series Matchup: TB/LAD

* hover over image for description

AL Wild Card Series: Blue Jays At Rays
AL Wild Card Series: Blue Jays At Rays

Exactly zero players remain from #8 seed Toronto's last playoff team in 2016, but out of all the upheaval grew a young, talented offensive team (with great baseball lineage) . #1 seed Tampa Bay, who also knows about turnover, won an AL-best 40 games despite a mediocre lineup (unless you count Brandon Lowe. Which I don't.) They rode their 3.56 team ERA to the playoffs, but is that enough to outlast a Toronto team that played them tough in 2020?

Randy Gets Things Started, Game 1
Randy Gets Things Started, Game 1

Leading off the 4th, speedy Rays LF Randy Arozarena rudely greeted new Jays RP Robbie Ray by driving a high fastball to the RCF gap. Despite a pair of perfect relay throws, Arozarena slid safely into 3B and soon scored the game's first run on a WP.

Jansen's Bombs, Game 2
Jansen's Bombs, Game 2

Toronto didn't muster a ton of offense against TB starter Tyler Glasnow, but C Danny Jansen saw at least two pitches he liked, depositing both over the wall (in the 3rd and 5th innings). The solo shots represented Toronto's only scoring, and they fell by a final of 8-2.

AL Wild Card Series: Blue Jays At Rays
AL Wild Card Series: Blue Jays At Rays

Exactly zero players remain from #8 seed Toronto's last playoff team in 2016, but out of all the upheaval grew a young, talented offensive team (with great baseball lineage) . #1 seed Tampa Bay, who also knows about turnover, won an AL-best 40 games despite a mediocre lineup (unless you count Brandon Lowe. Which I don't.) They rode their 3.56 team ERA to the playoffs, but is that enough to outlast a Toronto team that played them tough in 2020?

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