October Confidential: Rangers vs. Blue Jays

October Confidential: Rangers vs. Blue Jays

The Rangers will be in the Toronto to face the Blue Jays in the American League Division Series, beginning Thursday. 

What's the best way to beat each of these teams? To find out, we asked players from across their respective divisions to give the inside intel on how these clubs can be beaten. Our sources were granted anonymity in exchange for their candor.

TEXAS RANGERS
Adrian Beltre
"Beltre is one of the most respected players in the game, both because of how good he is on defense and because of how consistently he is on offense. And despite having injury problems this year, he still found a way to be a productive player in the lineup and a difficult out. He's a Hall of Fame candidate. I think his biggest weakness is that he's aggressive. So, if he's in a position to get the big hit, he's going to get the big hit. But sometimes, depending on how the lineup is constructed on a given day, you might not have to pitch to him directly."
-- AL West starting pitcher

Game Date Result
Gm 1 Oct. 8 TEX 5, TOR 3
Gm 2 Oct. 9 TEX 6, TOR 4
Gm 3 Oct. 11 TOR 5, TEX 1
Gm 4 Oct. 12 TOR 8, TEX 4
Gm 5 Oct. 14 TOR 6, TEX 3

Prince Fielder
"Fielder's a scary hitter. He has the ability to go up there and hit singles, or he can hit the ball 500 feet. When you face a guy who has 500-foot power and you don't know what his approach is on a given day, then you might not be able to get him out three or four times in a row. I think with guys like him, you have to pitch to him, pitch aggressively, because if you walk them, it actually makes him better. If you pitch around him too much, too blatantly, it'll actually make him a better hitter in the following at-bats throughout the game or the series."
-- AL West starting pitcher

Shawn Tolleson
"He's got a very above-average changeup, and he seems like he's got a bulldog mentality. I don't know if he's necessarily a guy most people look at as a closer, but he's stepped into that role and he's done a great job there."  
-- AL West outfielder

Read the complete Rangers October Confidential » 

TORONTO BLUE JAYS
David Price
"You have to attack him before he attacks you. With a guy like that, you have to get to him early: early in the game, early in the count."
-- AL East position player

Josh Donaldson
"You have to keep him off balance. He's a good fastball hitter but at the same time, he will hit a mistake and offspeed pitches in the zone, too. Be aggressive. You've got to get ahead of him, throw strikes but also know when to not let him beat you."
-- AL East pitcher No. 1

Jose Bautista
"He and [Edwin] Encarnacion are pretty similar. If you go in, you have to go in deep. It's more of an effect pitch but they want to swing the bat so they tend to swing at pitches out of the zone trying to do damage. You just try to stay away from the barrel. If they hit it, hopefully they hit it at somebody."
-- AL East pitcher No. 2

Read the complete Blue Jays October Confidential »