Thursday’s Game 1s in the American League, which featured some of the most potent offenses in all of MLB, didn’t lack the firepower we’ve come to expect from the the teams that have been doing it all year. The Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians grabbed 1-0 series leads over the Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox, respectively, with frightening combinations of quality pitching and overwhelming power at the plate. 

The series between Toronto and Texas is a rematch of the 2015 American League Division Series. A year ago, the Blue Jays dropped the first two games in the best-of-five series at home before heading to Texas. Toronto won both games on the road to force a decisive Game 5, which it would win at home.

The 2016 division series began differently for Toronto, which secured its date with the Rangers by sinking the Baltimore Orioles at home on Tuesday following a walk-off, three-run home run in the 11th inning from Edwin Encarnacion

Despite embarrassing the Rangers at their home park on Thursday by a score of 10-1, the Blue Jays know all too well that there is an arduous road ahead that leads to the American League Championship Series and continues at 1 p.m. ET on Friday. 

Neither the Red Sox nor the Indians were participants in the 2015 postseason—Cleveland won 81 games a year ago, while Boston claimed just 78 victories. Each team’s story was substantially different in 2016, with both teams winning more than 90 games. 

Cleveland edged out Boston by one game over the course of 162, and the Tribe took Thursday’s Game 1 at home 5-4. The two teams combined to jolt six solo home runs, but it was Jason Kipnis’ RBI single in the fifth inning that made the difference.

After one game, it wouldn’t be surprising to see this series go the full five games. However, Cleveland and Boston cannot look past Game 2 on Friday at 4:30 p.m ET. 

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