MLB on Sling TV: Blue Jays Seek to Clinch Wild Card Against Red Sox on ESPN2; Friday's Action on FOX Sports Regional Networks
(All times Eastern, starters subject to change)
Toronto Blue Jays (Estrada 9-9, 3.53) vs. Boston Red Sox (Porcello 22-4, 3.11)
7pm ET on ESPN2
Despite last night’s loss to Baltimore, the Blue Jays head into the season’s final weekend in the driver’s seat for the AL Wild Card chase, though things are far from settled. Toronto is tied with the Orioles at 87-72, while the Tigers are a game and a half back at 85-73, and the Mariners 2 games out at 85-74, so at this point their magic number is 3 to eliminate Detroit and 2 to eliminate the Mariners. And things could get really interesting if the Tigers, who got rained out against Cleveland last night, wind up a half-game out of the Wild Card race, in which case they would have to play makeup their missed game.
All Star Marco Estrada gets the call for the Jays tonight, but he hasn’t been quite the same since coming off the DL in late July, going 4-6 with a 4.46 ERA. In his last two starts, however, he appears to have gotten his mojo back, allowing 1 run on 5 hits and 5 walks, with 15 strikeouts over 14 innings.
The Red Sox backed into the AL East title on Wednesday night when the Blue Jays fell to the Orioles, and still have an outside shot at the best record in the AL, and thus, homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. Given the amount of rest their regulars have been getting, it doesn’t appear to be much of a priority, and given that the Sox have the best road record in the AL, it maybe shouldn’t be. But for Porcello, tonight could be the capper on a Cy Young Award campaign. He leads the league in wins, is second in winning percentage, FIP and opponents OPS+, is fourth in ERA and innings, and seventh in strikeouts. The statheads don’t love him, however, as his WAR of 5.1 ranks just fifth, behind Corey Kluber, Justin Verlander, Masahiro Tanaka, and Chris Sale. Reading the tea leaves, it seems like Kluber is his only real competition, and while voters have come a long way in their understanding of, and appreciation for advanced stats, Porcello’s 22-4 record looks way better than Kluber’s 18-9.
Watch the Toronto Blue Jays battle the Boston Red Sox at 7pm ET Friday on ESPN2 by subscribing to Sling Orange
Check out the baseball available Friday on FOX Sports Regional Networks by subscribing to Sling Blue:
Baltimore Orioles (Gallardo 5-8, 5.63) at New York Yankees (Pineda 6-11, 4.78)
7:05pm ET on YES
Miami Marlins (Cashner 5-11, 5.13) at Washington Nationals (Cole 1-2, 5.09)
7:05pm ET on FOX Sports Florida
Chicago Cubs (Buchanan 1-3, 9.00) at Cincinnati Reds (Smith 3-2, 4.77)
7:10pm ET on FOX Sports Cincinnati
Detroit Tigers (Zimmermann 9-6, 4.88) at Atlanta Braves (Wisler 7-12, 4.86)
7:35pm ET on FOX Sports Detroit & FOX Sports South
Tampa Bay Rays (Andriese 8-7, 4.34) at Texas Rangers (Darvish 6-5, 3.53)
8:05pm ET on FOX Sports Southwest & Fox Sports Sun
Milwaukee Brewers (Sutter 2-1, 2.16) at Colorado Rockies (Bettis 13-8, 4.92)
8:10pm ET on FOX Sports Wisconsin
Minnesota Twins (Duffey 9-11, 6.18) at Chicago White Sox (Rodon 8-10, 4.08)
8:10pm ET on FOX Sports North
Cleveland Indians (Plutko 0-0, 7.36) at Kansas City Royals (Ventura 11-11, 4.40)
8:15pm ET on FOX Sports Kansas City & SportsTime Ohio
Pittsburgh Pirates (Glasnow 0-1, 4.91) at St. Louis Cardinals (Martinez 15-9, 3.15)
8:15pm ET on FOX Sports Midwest
San Diego Padres (Jackson 5-6, 5.77) at Arizona Diamondbacks (Shipley 4-5, 5.26)
9:40pm ET on FOX Sports Arizona & FOX Sports San Diego
Houston Astros (Peacock 0-0, 2.67) at Los Angeles Angels (Wright 0-5, 6.95)
10:05pm ET on FOX Sports West
Watch baseball on FOX Sports Regional Networks by subscribing to Sling Blue.