The ALDS featuring the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers shifts from Canada down south to the Lone Star State of Texas. After all of the wins and satisfaction the Blue Jays and their following have enjoyed this season all come down to one game on Sunday night. Win and the series moves to game 4, lose and just like that in an instant the Jays are out of the postseason. If the Jays lose, it will still be since 1993 that Toronto has won a playoff game. The Texas win on Friday wasn’t without controversy. Whether it was the reason they lost or win is beside the point. The home plate ump was all over the place calling balls and strikes. In fact, it was one of the worst performances I have seen from an ump in a while. Officiating seems to always be the main story in professional sports where it should be the last thing. This is one reason why you need to initiate proper bankroll management skills when sports betting. No matter how much you love a bet, an official could come and swipe your money right away. And I haven’t even gotten to the missed tag call at 2nd base yet. Well, I’m not even going to go there because it frustrates me just thinking about it.
The Jays are still alive in this series, but have to win three straight games to move on to the next round. They need to win this one first and go from there. If they manage to win a couple, they’ll divert the series all the way back to Toronto. It isn’t like the Blue Jays haven’t won three games in a row this season, but the guillotine is inching closer and closer to them. With no room for error, the Blue Jays rely on Marco Estrada who has been quite the pitcher for them this season. Don’t sleep on Estrada, he has been a solid pitcher for the Blue Jays this season. R.A. Dickey is so hit and miss, but Estrada has stepped in to provide a nice compliment to David Price. All or nothing for the Blue Jays. Win or face the offseason. The Rangers smell blood, but are the Jays really going to get swept after so much hoopla heading into the postseason? We’ll find out Sunday night.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Texas Rangers
Marco Estrada (13-8, 3.13 ERA) vs. Martin Perez (3-6, 4.46)
Big sports day for us. The NFL is of course playing today and then we have a couple of big baseball matchups. In the ratings department it’s going to be SNF vs. the ALDS. I will be flipping back and forth between the two. A game the Jays need to win. Estrada enters this pivotal contest with a 3.13 ERA and has limited the hits this season. In his last ten starts, Estrada has allowed an average of only 4.1 hits per game. He’ll need to dig deep and find that same success tonight against the Rangers. In his two starts against the Rangers he’s been spectacular, holding a 1.50 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. Note that Beltre will be out for the Rangers again in game 3 after injuring his back in game 1.
Martin Perez comes into tonight with a 4.46 ERA, but what I like about Perez is that he has improved along the way. He has a 4.04 ERA at home, but in his most recent outings at home he has looked great. In his last two against the Angels and Astros, two very good offenses, he allowed 1 run to each. Perez is more of a finesse pitcher that utilizes movement on his pitches. What I have discovered about the Jays is that they love straight fastball pitchers. Conversely, they find trouble against pitchers that can put movement on their balls. In his last three starts, Perez posted a 2.65 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. I think 9.5 runs is too high for this ALDS matchup. A 4-3 or 5-3 final seems in the very realm of possibilities. Therefore, I am going to take a look at the UNDER 9.5 or Sunday night.
PICK: UNDER 9.5 RUNS (-115)