6 déc. 2019
The next nine days probably wont determine the Toronto Blue Jays playoff fate, but the upcoming stretch of games definitely will play a role. Air Max 720 Günstig Kaufen . Over the next three series, Toronto will face the East-leading Baltimore Orioles, the Central-leading Detroit Tigers and finally the Wild Card-vying Seattle Mariners. The Blue Jays can put themselves in a better position to make the postseason for the first time since 1993 with a solid record over this stretch or they could put themselves out of it entirely with a disastrous one. So the question is: How many games will the Blue Jays win over the next nine days? Baltimore Orioles (63-48) - Four games ahead of Blue Jays for first in AL East This one has been marked on Torontos calendar for quite some time. The clubs have split the first 10 games of their season series and the Jays can pull within a game of the Orioles for the division lead with a sweep. Toronto had been playing good ball until they ran into a pesky Astros squad, losing three of four in Houston over the weekend. Toronto should get a jolt to the lineup as Brett Lawrie was activated from the disabled list Monday night and is expected to get the start Tuesday in the opener. Baltimore, on the other hand, has been red-hot since the All-Star break with an impressive 11-6 record. The Orioles are also the American Leagues best road team with 33 victories away from Camden Yards so far this season. They acquired relief pitcher Andrew Miller from the Boston Red Sox on deadline day and seem to be putting things together both at the plate and on the mound. Baltimore will go with Bud Norris (8-7), Wei-Yin Chen (12-3) and Miguel Gonzalez (5-6) while Toronto will counter with Mark Buehrle (11-7), Drew Hutchison (7-9) and J.A. Happ (8-5) over the three-game set. There should be plenty of power too at the hitter-friendly Rogers Centre, as the Blue Jays and Orioles sit one-two in homers with 134 and 133, respectively. Detroit Tigers (61-48) - First place in AL Central After Baltimore, the Jays welcome to Toronto the team with arguably the best pitching staff in all of baseball. Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and now David Price lead the Tigers starting staff with each having won a Cy Young award over the last three seasons. And then theres the very formidable Anibal Sanchez and Rick Porcello, who have combined for a 21-10 record this season. The Jays will likely have to face Sanchez, Scherzer and Price over the three-game set next weekend. Detroits arms are one thing to worry about, but theyre also one of the best hitting teams in the American League. They are first in team batting average (.277 – 13 points better than the second place Los Angeles Angels), first in on-base percentage (.331) and first in slugging percentage (.435). If the Blue Jays want to be considered a legit playoff contender, taking two of three from the well-rounded Tigers would be a good step. Seattle Mariners (57-54) - Two games behind the Blue Jays for the second Wild Card spot Toronto wraps up this critical stretch out west at Safeco Field against the Mariners, who may sneak into the playoffs with a Wild Card entry, but theyve fallen off as of late, losing six of their last 10. Ace Felix Hernandez may anchor one of the leagues better pitching staffs (they lead the Majors with a 3.05 team ERA), but their hitting has left a lot to be desired. Theyre last in the American League in RBIs with 402 and second last in team batting average with .243. The Jays could possibly put the Mariners away in this series, in a place thats become a home away from home because of all the west coast fans that come down from B.C. for the games. Looking ahead, the Blue Jays will play the Orioles six times, the Mariners four times and the New York Yankees four times over the final two weeks of the season at the end of September. Those games will undoubtedly determine Torontos season if theyre able to stay in contention until then. But that is then and this is now, and the Blue Jays need to think about taking care of business in the present day. Having said that, how many games will the Jays win over this critical nine-day stretch? As always, its Your! Call. Nike Air Max 95 Damen Günstig . Ted Ligety, Mikaela Shiffrin, Bode Miller and Tim Jitloff underlined the squads enormous potential on the Rettenbach glacier in Austria. Nike Air Max Plus Billig . -- Pelicans coach Monty Williams does not expect guard Eric Gordon to play in any of New Orleans final five games this season.CHICAGO -- The special teams have been awful. The faceoff circle has been a huge problem. Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp have combined for one goal for the Chicago Blackhawks. The defending Stanley Cup champions are in big trouble in the Western Conference final, down 3-1 to the rolling Los Angeles Kings. But the Blackhawks are back at home for Game 5 on Wednesday night, and have dug out of similar trouble before. "Just looking to win Game 5," coach Joel Quenneville said after the Blackhawks arrived back in Chicago on Tuesday afternoon. "Thats it. Get the momentum back and go from there." The previous time this series was in Chicago, the Kings seized the momentum with a five-goal third period in a 6-2 victory in Game 2. It carried right over to a pair of impressive victories in Los Angeles that moved the Kings to the brink of their second Stanley Cup Final in three seasons. Los Angeles has shredded Chicagos penalty-kill unit for five goals in its past 10 chances, while holding the Blackhawks to one power-play goal in their past 11 opportunities. Anze Kopitar and the Kings have won 58 per cent (106 of 184) of the faceoffs during the win streak, taking the puck-possession Blackhawks out of their game. "Its one of the things you look at with young centermen is how are they on faceoffs and are they working to improve on it," Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter said. "Its a special skill. Its one of those stats in hockey when you say youre 50 per cent, you know, if that was us in school, wed be going again." The Kings big advantage against the Blackhawks is a far cry from the beginning of the playoffs, when they lost their first three games against San Jose. But they rallied past the Sharks in seven games, and then eliminated Anaheim after falling behind 3-2 in that series. The twin rallies could help against Chicago. Los Angelees, which won the Stanley Cup in 2012, knows how important it is to quickly close out a team such as the Blackhawks while they are struggling. Nike Air Max 95 Herren Sale . "Were expecting their best," Kings centre Trevor Lewis said. "Theyre back at home now. Were expecting them to come out hard. I mean, theyre defending Cup champions. I dont think theyre going to give up by any means." A year ago, the Blackhawks were down 3-1 to the Red Wings in the second round when they headed home for Game 5. Andrew Shaw then had two goals in a 4-1 victory that sparked a series-saving winning streak for Chicago. The Blackhawks also lost their first three games in the first round against Vancouver in 2011, and got all the way back to a 2-1 overtime loss in Game 7. They are drawing on those experiences for this series, while acknowledging the surging Kings are an entirely different problem. "Were looking forward to getting out there tomorrow night," defenceman Brent Seabrook said. "I know the guys were being upbeat on the plane this morning, at breakfast this morning. Were looking forward to getting out there tomorrow and trying to get some momentum back and start feeling good about ourselves again." Seabrook and defensive partner Duncan Keith had one of their worst games of the season in Monday nights 5-2 loss. Keith had a turnover that led to a Marian Gaborik goal, and Seabrook struggled on Chicagos penalty-kill unit. "I (have) got to be better. Doesnt just start with a penalty kill. Its every facet of the game," Seabrook said. "We all got to be out there doing the things that are going to make us win the game. "I think some things happened last game that are uncharacteristic, but at the same time you have to give L.A. credit. Theyre forcing us into different situations. We (have) got to be better and we will be better." ' ' '