For those who switched the channel while Toronto Blue Jays fans were busy littering the field with beer cans and other loose pieces of garbage, they switched back to find one of the craziest single innings in postseason history.

From the controversial decision allowing the Rangers the go-ahead run in the top of the inning to Jose Bautista’s home run and bat flip heard ’round Canada, the inning had everything you could have asked for—unless you’re a fan of Texas, of course.

The Jays emerged from the melee—not literally; despite two bench clearings, there was never a brawl between the teams—victorious and moved on to the American League Championship Series, where they will face the Kansas City Royals, who won a Game 5 of their own against the Houston Astros 7-2.

Thus far, the playoffs have already lived up to expectations and then some, and with the ALCS set between two teams that have long been the underdogs, things can only get better from here.



Where the first half of the season belonged to the Houston Astros and their surprising transformation from bottom-of-the-barrel National League side to a title contender and one of the best teams in the league, the second half was all about the Toronto Blue Jays.

Acquiring some of baseball’s biggest names at the trade deadline, including pitcher David Price from Detroit and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki from the Colorado Rockies, the Blue Jays not only ended a playoff drought with relative ease but headed into the postseason with the second-best record in the American League behind only the Kansas City Royals.

Pairing baseball’s best shortstop with the likes of Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion—who finished first, third and fourth in the AL in RBI, respectively—the Blue Jays created a lineup no batter wanted to face and went on a tear following the All-Star break.

Heading into the playoffs, Toronto was considered one of the favorites to win it all and, despite losing its first two contests, showed off exactly what had made it one of the more entertaining teams in the league with a comeback win—in both the series and Game 5—against the Rangers.

But against Kansas City, last year’s runner-up for the World Series and the team with the best record in the AL, the Jays will by far face their stiffest test this season. How the world has changed with the Royals, now the veteran team facing off against an inexperienced group in Toronto, but an impressive run last season is being looked at as a stepping stone for Kansas City this year.

Taking down the Astros in their division series at home, the Royals put on an offensive showing in the series, averaging five runs per game, including scoring 16 total in the final two, both wins. The pitching was nothing to be scoffed at, either, with trade deadline acquisition Johnny Cueto living up to expectations, giving up two earned runs in eight innings in the decisive game against Houston.

Kansas City’s big bats from last year are back and are the driving force behind a team that was good but not great at both pitching and fielding. Fortunately for the Royals, their opponents also relied heavily on their bats for success, while the defense did enough to help the team secure big wins. Unfortunately for the reigning AL champs, the Blue Jays outclassed them offensively by a wide margin.

Outscoring their closest competitors by 127 runs in the regular season, the Blue Jays were baseball’s best offensive team and haven’t missed a step since the postseason started. Although ranked No. 3 behind the Astros and Cubs in total runs, the Blue Jays are averaging more than five runs per contest and have yet to score less than three in a game.

With emotions riding high after the epic win against the Rangers, Toronto should be able to take the early games from Kansas City and head relatively comfortably into their first World Series appearance since back-to-back titles in 1992 and 1993.

Prediction: Blue Jays win series 4-2

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