MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Toronto Blue Jays ace Alek Manoah (15-7, 2.31 ERA) and Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Michale Grove (1-0, 4.07 ERA) will both take the mound this weekend in critical games for their respective clubs.
Manoah, who is coming off his 15th win of the season in his last start, looks to have another stellar performance against the division rival Boston Red Sox. Manoah and the Blue Jays have punched their ticket to the postseason, but are still jostling with two other teams for positioning in the American League Wild Card race.
Toronto enters play on Friday with a two-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays. Including Friday night’s contest, the Blue Jays have just six games remaining in the regular season.
Manoah is 2-0 against the Red Sox this year.
The big right-hander tallied the 300th strikeout of his career in his previous start. He is just five strikeouts away from tying John Means for the second-most big-league strikeouts by a WVU baseball product.
Meanwhile, Grove and the Dodgers have already secured the National League’s top spot in the playoffs.
So, when the Mountain State native toes the rubber at Dodgers Stadium on Saturday, he will be looking to help LA extend its franchise record in wins. Entering play on Friday, Los Angeles has won 108 games this season.
Only six teams in the Modern Era (1900-present) of Major League Baseball have won more games in a single season, and just two NL teams have captured more regular-season victories in one year.
If Los Angeles wins Friday night, Grove will start in the Dodgers’ first attempt to tie the 1909 Pirates for the second-most wins in National League history. However, if Los Angeles falls in Friday’s series opener against Colorado, the Wheeling, West Virginia native will start the game in which the Dodgers can secure home-field advantage throughout the World Series.
Grove earned the first win of his Major League Baseball career in his previous start.
Manoah’s start begins just after 7 p.m. ET Friday night. Grove and the Dodgers will begin play in Denver just after 9 p.m. ET on Saturday night.
Both games can be seen on MLB.TV.