Getty Images, USA TODAY Sports

Can Blue Jays rebound in Game 2 vs. Hamels?

After dropping an injury-riddled Game 1 to the Rangers, the Blue Jays will have Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista back in their lineup today versus Cole Hamels. Texas isn't as lucky, with Adrian Beltre out of the starting lineup.

Getty Images

Kurkjian: Five questions for Cubs-Cardinals

The Cardinals won 100 games, while the Cubs look like MLB's hottest team. The rivals meet for the first time in the playoffs, as postseason vets Jon Lester and John Lackey face off in Game 1 of the NLDS. Who has the edge?

Getty Images

Kurkjian: Five questions for Dodgers-Mets

It's Jacob deGrom vs. Clayton Kershaw in Game 1 of the NLDS. Will Kershaw and Zack Greinke carry the Dodgers to victory, or can the Mets advance behind their own impressive rotation?

Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Crasnick: Astros flex their might on the road

The Astros are athletically gifted and stacked with power bats. And apparently they've figured out how to win on the road. In other words: Watch out, Royals.

AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles
18hJesse Rogers

Cubs to start Hendricks in Game 2 of NLDS

Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon has elected to start second-year right-hander Kyle Hendricks in Game 2 of their best-of-five NL Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
28mBuster Olney

Joe Maddon's lineup choices pay off for Cubs

The Chicago Cubs manager made some unconventional decisions in the NL wild-card game that were reminiscent of a famous Connie Mack move in 1929.

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
1dJacob Nitzberg, ESPN Stats & Information

How do you pitch to Josh Donaldson?

Josh Donaldson had an MVP-caliber season for the Blue Jays. A breakdown of how to pitch to the Toronto slugger.

Arrieta, Cubs riding momentum into St. Louis (2:04)
ESPN Illustration
2dJim Caple

Back, back, back to the future

Thanks to ''Back To The Future, Part II,'' we know the Cubs will win this year's World Series. But what do the next decades hold for Chicago and the rest of baseball? We traveled 30 years into the future to peek at the 2045 Baseball Almanac.

ESPN Illustration

Stark: My World Series prediction

Our guy Jayson Stark doesn't have the best track record when it comes to predicting who will win the World Series. But this year is different. We promise!


Doug Padilla ESPN Staff Writer 

Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, on Johnny Cueto starting a must-win game Friday after KC lost the ALDS opener: "This is why we got him."

Rangers in good spot with Hamels going

Texas has won each of Cole Hamels' last 10 starts. He'll take the mound in Game 2 against Toronto's Marcus Stroman who is 4-0 with a 1.67 ERA this season.

AP Photo/LM Otero

Early road success looms large in LDS

  • When the road team wins Game 1 of a best-of-5 postseason series it goes on to win the series 73.2 percent of the time (41-15).
  • Teams that win the first two games on the road of a best-of-5 series go on to win the series 93.1 percent of the time (27-2).
    • (via Elias Sports Bureau)

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Donaldson + Bautista are playing today

Blue Jays 3B Josh Donaldson (head) and OF Jose Bautista (hamstring) both left Game 1 early with injuries, but both return to the lineup vs. the Rangers for Game 2. The duo combined for 81 regular season homers.


Adrian Beltre not in Rangers' lineup

Beltre's name is not on Texas' lineup card for Game 2, a day after the Rangers 3B left the team's Game 1 win early with a back strain. Hanser Alberto replaces Beltre at third for the 12:45 p.m. ET start.


Man vs. tarp ends with plastic on top

A Royals grounds crew member tripped during the rain delay -- and the tarp showed no mercy in running him over.


Jim Caple Senior Writer, ESPN.com 

Thanks to Prince Fielder (No. 84) and Hanser Alberto (No. 68), the Rangers jersey numbers on their starters out-totals the Blue Jays 312-162. And that's with Elvis Andrus (No. 1) in the lineup but without Robinson Chirinos (No. 61) starting.

Gordon Edes ESPN Staff Writer 

It's MLB's decision, by the way, if the roof at Rogers Centre is open in postseason. The vote the last two days has been for air-conditioned comfort.

Joe Girardi: 'I did what i thought was right'

The Yankees blew a seven-game lead in the AL East they held in July and were shut out in the wild-card game, but the manager defended his actions: "People thought that I could have done better. I understand that, and so you live with it.''

Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports

Longoria shares strange Maddon story

Rays 3B Evan Longoria identified the weirdest clubhouse moment with former Rays coach and current Cubs coach Joe Maddon. It involves a Mariachi band and his locker.


Gordon Edes ESPN Staff Writer 

An hour before game roof at Rogers Centre is closed. Accuweather forecast says times of clouds and sun, breezy this afternoon. High of 64 degrees. They say ball travels better when roof is open, but Jays, Rangers combined to hit three homers yesterday with roof closed.

Eddie Matz ESPN Senior Writer 

The calm before the storm in St. Louis. No, it's not supposed to rain here today - at least not during the game (AccuWeather says slight chance of mid-day showers, then clearing). But with the Cardinals and Cubs meeting in the postseason for the first time ever, the NLDS crowd at Busch Stadium is sure to be downright thunderous.

Mariners to fire Lloyd McClendon

The Mariners manager will be fired this offseason, a source told ESPN's Jim Bowden. Seattle has not made the playoffs in McClendon's two years there, going 87-75 his first year -- missing the postseason by one game -- and 76-86 this season.

Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports

Jim Caple Senior Writer, ESPN.com 

Rangers Game 2 lineup:

Friday's MLB postseason schedule

  • Game 2: Rangers at Blue Jays, 12:45 p.m. ET (Rangers lead 1-0)
  • Game 2: Astros at Royals, 3:45 p.m. ET (Astros lead 1-0)
  • Game 1: Cubs at Cardinals, 6:45 p.m. ET
  • Game 1: Mets at Dodgers, 9:45 p.m. ET
Postseason coverage, schedules

Getty Images

Jim Caple Senior Writer, ESPN.com 

More from Banister on Beltre: "We really hope we don't get to that point where we need him to pinch-hit. But given what he did yesterday in an at-bat where I think most of us would have been laying down in the fetal position, for him to go to the plate and drive in a run is pretty spectacular so I'm not going to rule Adrian out of anything."

Kurkjian: Great pitching trumps home field

Home teams are 0-4 and haven't led at any point in the postseason. Tim Kurkjian believes home-field advantage means nothing if you are facing a great starter.


Jim Caple Senior Writer, ESPN.com 

Adrian Beltre is not in the Game 2 lineup: but Jeff Banister does not rule him out as pinch-hitter (but don't count on that). "The only update I have is that he's still sore. Obviously, there's still some spasms but our hope is he continues to get better. He's getting worked on. I'm never going to count Adrian out of anything. The toughest guy I've ever been around."

Gordon Edes ESPN Staff Writer 

Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson taking BP here this morning

Cubs fan: 'This is our year'

"Back to the Future II" had the Cubs winning the 2015 World Series, and some Chicago fans are thinking this is the year to win their first title since 1908. One fan said, "[If] they win this year, I'm going to heaven."


Jerry Crasnick ESPN.com MLB Sr. Writer 

A.J. Hinch has made every right move in the Astros' first two postseason games, but he knows how quickly perceptions can change in October. "You can be humbled in a heartbeat," he said late Thursday night after Houston's Game 1 ALDS win over the Royals. Smart guy.

Jim Caple Senior Writer, ESPN.com 

Adrian Beltre is not in Rangers starting lineup for Game 2. Rookie Hanser Alberto playing third and batting ninth in his place.