Toronto Blue Jays (3-0) vs. Cleveland Indians (3-0)
MLB ALCS Game One: Friday, October 14, 2016 at 8:00pm EST
Line: Cleveland -144/Toronto +134
The Cleveland Indians will host the Toronto Blue Jays in game one of the 2016 ALCS Friday evening from Progressive Field. The Blue Jays will give the nod to 33-year old right hander Marco Estrada, and the Indians will send 30-year old right hander Corey Kluber to the hill. Cleveland won the season series four games to three. Toronto powered their way through a sweep of Texas in the ALDS, and Cleveland swept Boston with timely hitting and terrific pitching.
Estrada Coming Off Game One Gem
Marco Estrada will make his ninth career Postseason appearance and second start of the 2016 Postseason, aiming for another win. Estrada was brilliant in his game one start against the Rangers, conceding only one run on four hits over 8.1 innings. The veteran right hander only faced the Indians once this season and allowed three runs in five innings, and has now conceded five runs (four earned) in just 12 career innings pitched against Cleveland. Carlos Santana is 3 for 5 with a homer against Estrada, while Mike Napoli is 1 for 4 and Jason Kipnis is 0 for 5. Estrada went 9-9 with a 3.48 ERA this season, and posted a dazzling .193 opponent batting average on the road this season.
The Toronto Blue Jays hit plenty of the long ball in the ALDS, belting eight homers in the three game series, with Edwin Encarnacion leading the way with two homers and four RBI’s. Encarnacion has been the Blue Jays most productive player through Toronto’s four Postseason games, smashing three homers with seven RBI’s. The 33-year old DH had success against the Indians this season, collecting seven RBI’s with two homers in seven games. The Blue Jays were very effective with men on base in the ALDS, going 11 for 23 with 17 runs scored with runners in scoring position.
Kluber Dazzles in First Career Postseason Start
Corey Kluber will get the nod as he makes his second start of the Postseason, looking to continue where he left off against the Red Sox. Kluber was tremendous in game two of the ALDS, tossing seven shutout innings to the high-scoring Red Sox and got the win. The veteran right hander has faced the Blue Jays twice this season, and was roughed up in his first start, serving up five runs in 3.1 innings at the Rogers Centre, but was much better in his second start at home, conceding just two runs over 6.2 innings, finishing with the no decision. Overall, Kluber has struggled against the Blue Jays in his career, going 1-3 with a weak 5.34 ERA in 28.2 career innings pitched. Josh Donaldson is 6 for 16 with five RBI’s against Kluber, while Jose Bautista is 3 for 9 with four RBI’s, and Edwin Encarnacion is 3 for 15 with two RBI’s. Kluber posted an 18-9 record with a terrific 3.14 ERA this season.
Jose Ramirez will be one to watch in this series after a very productive ALDS. The 24-year old third baseman notched a hit in 5 of his 10 at bats with two walks, and six runs scored, and finished the series with a dazzling .583 on base percentage. Ramirez had success agains the Blue Jays this season, going 10 for 32 with six RBI’s, and hit a team leading .312 with 11 home runs and 76 RBI’s on the season.
The Toronto Blue Jays are:
- 6-1 in Estrada’s last 7 road starts against a team with a winning record.
- 4-0 in their last 4 Postseason games.
- 5-1 in their last 6 games after scoring more than 5 runs in their previous game.
The Cleveland Indians are:
- No Key Trends
I am siding with the Blue Jays in this contest. Kluber conceded seven runs in ten innings against Toronto this season, and he now owns a weak 5.34 ERA in his career against the Blue Jays, so I would not feel comfortable siding with him. Plus, the Blue Jays trio of Donaldson, Bautista and Encarnacion is hitting a combined .300 with 11 RBI’s in 40 at bats against Kluber, so I am confident they can push across some runs. Also, Estrada has been incredible as of late, conceding only three runs over his last 27.1 innings pitched, and he is very difficult pitcher to hit when he is in a groove like this, and overall this Blue Jays team seems to have the Postseason magic and I am confident they take game one.