El Oso Blanco, known to his parents as Evan Gattis, laced a line drive home run just a couple of rows beyond the right field fence off of Michael Pineda in the top of the 2nd earlier today. Sure it’s a short porch in right at Yankee Stadium. We all know that, but Gattis is a right-handed batter, so the opposite field shot is still impressive. However, Gattis hit a bona fide bomb to left center in the top of the 8th to put the game nearly out of reach. The second he clubbed that second shot, FanGraphs charted the Houston Astros’ Win Probability at 96.9%.
That meaty, bare-fisted solo shot was a gift for his starter, Collin McHugh – and the Toronto Blue Jays (we’ll get to that). The win for the Astros expanded their AL West lead to five games over the Texas Rangers. The victory, McHugh’s 14th of the season, also moved him, temporarily, into a tie with Felix Hernandez for second most in the AL (Dallas Keuchel has 15).
More importantly – for a reeling, soon-to-be-Don Orsillo-less Boston Red Sox fan – it knocked the New York Yankees another half game back of the Jays. The Jays play the Rangers in a little under two hours. They have David Price pitching. That very fact gives them a fantastic chance of both stretching their thin lead to two games and return the favor to Houston, who could be looking at a 5.5 game lead by night’s end. What is Toronto’s chance of winning in Arlington this evening, you ask? Well, let’s go back to our good friends at FanGraphs and see. Their pre-game odds give the Jays a 62.1% chance of winning tonight’s game.
Cheers to all you Astros and Jays fans! You do know, that if the playoffs started today, then you’d be facing each other in the Division Series, right? That could be a fun series.