MLB Baseball Betting: Cleveland Indians at Toronto Blue Jays

MLB Baseball Betting:  Cleveland Indians at Toronto Blue Jays&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The Toronto Blue Jays cruised into the American League Championship series in great form having swept the Texas Rangers in the divisional round. It doesn’t appear that their offense came along for the ride. After slugging their way through the wild card game and the ALDS the Jays have been shut down by the Cleveland Indians in the first two games of this series. They return home down 0-2 and facing a ‘must win’ situation in Game Three on Monday. Only one Major League Baseball team has ever come back from a 0-3 deficit to win a best of seven series (Boston over New York Yankees in 2004). They’re already in a fairly significant hole as it is. On 79 occasions a MLB team has opened a best of seven series losing the first two games. They’ve gone on to lose that series 66 times.

You can take a ‘glass half full’ view of the first two games of the ALCS. Toronto is getting decent pitching and it’s not like they’re getting dominated. Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ allowed a total of four runs in the first two games. The bad news is Toronto’s offense, which has scored just one run against Indians’ pitching. Cleveland has now allowed just 8 runs in 5 playoff games. Toronto scored a total of 27 runs in their first four playoff games (6.75 per game). The bigger problem is that Toronto is playing ‘Indians style baseball’ or, more appropriately, the Indians are forcing the Jays to do so. Cleveland has now won 4 of the last five meetings with Toronto with 4 of those games decided by 1 run and the other decided by 2. This isn’t ‘Blue Jays baseball’ and the offense needs to come alive to facilitate their preferred style.

Right hander Trevor Bauer gets the start for Cleveland and although his L3 numbers aren’t impressive (4.91 ERA and 1.254 WHIP) the Indians are 3-0 in this stretch. Bauer is more of a ‘power pitcher’ as evidenced by 21 strikeouts and 4 home runs allowed in his recent starts. Bauer faced the Jays once during the regular season and was very sharp, going 8 innings allowing 2 ER, 5 H and racking up 13 strikeouts. In a pair of starts in 2015, however, he was pummeled by the Jays giving up 11 earned runs in just 5 2/3 innings. Marcus Stroman has only two career starts against Cleveland, both this year. He’s pitched well (2 ER in 14 innings with 15 strikeouts) but Toronto lost both games by–you guessed it–a single run.


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