"On any given Sunday" is a shorthand way of suggesting that any team can beat any other team. It’s usually a football reference, but it’s more applicable for baseball. There really is something to that replacement level concept in MLB.
Imagine an NBA Finals game in which the 2014 starting 5 of the Miami Heat were all sidelined. Their backups were on the floor for the entire game against the Spurs "A" squad. Duncan, Parker and the boys are all filling it up and doing their thing. What are the chances that this game is competitive?
What about the sport that coined the phrase? Picture the Broncos suddenly without Manning, Thomas, every starting lineman…the whole team constructed of nothing but backups. They ain’t walking out of CenturyLink Field with a win on Sunday. No chance. In 100 games, the replacement Broncos go 0-100.
As it stands currently in Anaheim, the Mariners and Angels are tied 0-0 in the top of the ninth. Here is the Halos’ starting lineup:
T Campana CF
G Beckham SS
B Boesch RF
C Cron DH
E Navarro 1B
G Green 2B
H Conger C
L Jimenez 3B
S O’Malley LF
The Mariners trotted out their beast, King Felix. The Angels countered with Wade LeBlanc and asked him to face Cano and all their big dogs.
Could the Mariners end up winning this game? Sure. However, there is an equal (or better) chance, particularly because the Angels are the home team, that they’ll walk off with a victory.
Baseball is a stunningly intricate sport. There are endless variables. That’s why any team can beat any other team on any given night.
But the Angels are screwed without Richards, right?