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Behind six shutout innings from Edinson Volquez, the Royals quieted the powerful Blue Jays lineup and took the ALCS opener by a 5-0 final. Toronto will try to salvage a split in Kansas City before heading home for the next three games.

Toronto Blue Jays (David Price) vs Kansas City Royals (Yordano Ventura) (4:07 p.m. EST).

PECOTA odds of winning: 59% Blue Jays, 41% Royals

Projected Starting Lineups

Blue Jays vs. Ventura (R)

Royals vs. Price (L)

Ben Revere (L) LF

Alcides Escobar (R) SS

Josh Donaldson (R) 3B

Ben Zobrist (S) 2B

Jose Bautista (R) RF

Lorenzo Cain (R) CF

Edwin Encarnacion (R) DH

Eric Hosmer (L) 1B

Chris Colabello (R) 1B

Kendrys Morales (S) DH

Troy Tulowitzki (R) SS

Mike Moustakas (L) 3B

Russell Martin (R) C

Salvador Perez (R) C

Kevin Pillar (R) CF

Alex Gordon (L) LF

Ryan Goins (L) 2B

Alex Rios (R) RF

Injuries/Availability: Edwin Encarnacion left Game One with strained ligament sprain in his left middle finger, the same finger that he jammed at the end of July and has given him trouble off and on ever since. X-rays came back negative and the injury is considered day-to-day. As of this writing the slugger’s status for Game Two isn’t clear but if he were unable to go, Justin Smoak would likely get the start at first base with Chris Colabello slotting in at DH.

If Encarnacion does get the start, all indications are that Colabello will remain at first base against Yordano Ventura. Even with right-hander Edinson Volquez taking the hill in Game One, John Gibbons elected to go with Colabello at first base over the switch-hitting Smoak. There was thought that Smoak would get starts in the series against righties, like he had in Game One of the NLDS against Yovani Gallardo. Now it looks like he may be relegated to a defensive replacement role in this series.

Josh Donaldson clipped the glove hand of Salvador Perez with a backswing in the eighth inning of Game 1, which prompted trainers to come out and check on the catcher. Perez stayed in the game, making it doubtful we get a second Drew Butera playoff appearance in the immediate future. Nevertheless, it’s a situation worth monitoring.

Outlook: The Blue Jays were shut out for just the sixth time this season in Game One, a result the Royals would be hard pressed to count on happening many more times during the series. Losing Encarnacion would be a big blow to a star-heavy lineup but if any team could take the blow, it’s the best offense in the game.

Edinson Volquez stepped up big and displayed some of his best stuff through the first five innings of Game One, but his command wavered and he somehow escaped a 37-pitch sixth inning unscathed. Meanwhile, the Royals offense tallied three runs off Marco Estrada before adding a pair of insurance runs in the eighth inning to put the game away. Runs won’t come as easily for the home squad with David Price getting the ball for Toronto, making it all the more critical that Yordano Ventura step up in a similar way as his teammate did.

Much has been made about Toronto’s strange usage of Price in the ALDS, when they decided to go with Marcus Stroman over Price in Game 5 and instead used their prized midseason acquisition as a glorified mop up man in Game 4. It seems unlikely that the team is hiding an injury; they wouldn’t have run him out for three innings in relief had he needed the rest. How he responds after such a strange series of events will be a major storyline as the Blue Jays look to even the series.

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magua11
10/17
I'm cheering for the Jays, and have watched most of their games this year [at least in part]. They looked flat, very flat from the start of the game. My thoughts are they weren't mentally prepared for the game. whether from too much celebration on Wednesday's win, travel or what-have-you. They need to find their fire again, and I expect to see it again this afternoon. These guys don't wallow in self-reflection or pity, so I think they take today's game walking away.