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Rangers may have the edge on Blue Jays in ALDS rematch

Rangers may have the edge on Blue Jays in ALDS rematch
Texas' Carlos Beltran bats against Houston Astros on Sept. 3. (Mike Stone / Associated Press)

Rangers vs. Blue Jays

Game 1: Thursday at Texas, 1:30 p.m.

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Toronto: J.A. Happ (20-4, 3.18 ERA)

Texas: Cole Hamels (15-5, 3.32 ERA)

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Game 2: Friday at Texas, 10 a.m.

Toronto: Aaron Sanchez (15-2, 3.00 ERA)

Texas: Yu Darvish (7-5, 3.41 ERA)

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Game 3: Sunday at Toronto, 10 a.m.

Texas: TBA

Toronto: TBA

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Game 4: Monday at Toronto, TBA

Texas: TBA

Toronto: TBA

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Game 5: Wednesday at Texas, TBA

Toronto: TBA

Texas: TBA

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Projected lineups

TORONTO

Position, player, avg., HR, RBI

2B Devon Travis, .300, 11, 50

3B Josh Donaldson, .284, 37, 99

1B Edwin Encarnacion, .263, 42, 127

RF Jose Bautista, .234, 22, 69

C Russell Martin, .231, 20, 74

SS Troy Tulowitzki, .254, 24, 79

DH Michael Saunders, .253, 24, 57

CF Kevin Pillar, .266, 7, 53

LF Ezequiel Carrera, .248, 6, 23

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TEXAS

Position, player, avg., HR, RBI

LF Carlos Gomez, .231, 13, 53

CF Ian Desmond, .285, 22, 86

DH Carlos Beltran, .295, 29, 93

3B Adrian Beltre, .300, 32, 104

2B Rougned Odor, .271, 33, 88

C Jonathan Lucroy, .292, 24, 81

RF Shin-Soo Choo, .242, 7, 17

1B Mitch Moreland, .233, 22, 60

SS Elvis Andrus, .302, 8, 69

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Keys to the series

The 2015 ALDS between these teams was intense, and then they fought fiercely in May. Some kind of a sequel may be in the offing but should have little to do with the series outcome. What will is Texas' lineup, featuring established hitters across the board, depth off the bench, and noted playoff savant Carlos Beltran. The Blue Jays won in five games a year ago, but have received less production from their veterans and might have lost young closer Roberto Osuna during Tuesday's wild-card win. If Aaron Sanchez can continue to pitch like a burgeoning ace, Toronto has a chance, but the Rangers' upside looks superlative.

The pick: Rangers in 5.

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