There is a lot contributing to the hype surrounding Monday night's Rangers-Blue Jays game, the teams' first meeting since a heated ALDS Game 5 in Toronto which the Blue Jays won to eliminate the Rangers after Texas had taken a 2-0 series lead.
There was the famous Jose Bautista bat flip and numerous other incidents of jawing and heated moments you expect to see in a tight playoff series.
While Monday's game won't have nearly as much on the line, you can bet Texas would like to open the season series with a win, and the Rangers might just have the best guy possible on the mound to get that job accomplished.
A.J. Griffin takes the hill for the Rangers with a 3-0 record on the season and an ERA of 2.52 in his first season back in the bigs since 2013, thanks to Tommy John surgery.
Griiffin opposes the crapshoot factor of R.A. Dickey, whose knuckleball allows him to either be very good or very bad.
Griffin has been incredibly solid this year and has made it impossible for the Rangers to consider bumping him from the rotation upon Yu Darvish's return from Tommy John surgery later this month. Griffin hasn't allowed more than three runs in an outing, and that was only his season debut. Since then, he's allowed two, two and one, respectively, and went eight innings his last time out.
He'll have a big test against the Blue Jays' vaunted lineup, but it's a lineup that is entering this series struggling collectively, so Griffin could have another big day.