The Toronto Blue Jays looked like they were still hungover from the win over the Texas Rangers the other night, while the Kansas City Royals meant business. The Royals blanked the Jays behind an improbable start from Edinson Volquez. Volquez who hadn’t won a game against the Jays in the past, a 0-6 record with an ERA over 6.00, delivered the outing of his life. He was painting pitches all over the paint while delivering a mid-90s fastball. The Jays were dumbfounded at the plate and were absolutely abysmal with runners on base. They had their chances to hit a deep shot to make it a game, but it resulted in an automatic out every time. Now with the Blue Jays ace on the mound, the time to win is now. They couldn’t get anything out of David Price in the Rangers’ series, but he gets a chance to amend himself against the Royals this afternoon. This is a battle tested Royals squad, the Blue Jays do not want to find themselves two games back of this team. The Jays came up clutch in the final three games against the Rangers last series, but the Royals have been doing it in the postseason for the last two years.
KC came up short in the World Series last season and are only three wins away from coming back to the big game. However, all the Jays need is a win today and they head to Toronto with a chance to make it a 3-1 series lead with two wins at home. This series is long from being done. I stand by my original prediction of a 7 game series. So, with the Jays’ ace on the mound and the odds severely tilted to their side in this game, has to mean that they have this one right? While Price has the label of being an ace, his performances in the postseason have been anything but. Not only is there a chance for Price to go to the World Series on the line here, but he is also auditioning for the rest of the league as he is looking for a big fat contract. Another postseason failure for Price shouldn’t bode well in his favor, however. Before pulling the trigger, this game and others in the past will be talked about. He has buckled under the pressure before, but he can make people forget all about it with a strong start over the Royals this afternoon. Let’s get to the pick for game 2 of the ALCS.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Kansas City Royals
David Price (19-6, 2.45 ERA) vs. Yordano Ventura (13-9, 4.23)
What lies in David Price’s ERA during the regular season is fantastic, it has always been that way with him. Price sported a 2.45 ERA in the regular season, but we need to assess his starts during the postseason to get a bigger picture. He holds a career 5.48 ERA in the postseason compared to his career ERA of 3.08 in the regular season. Price has had seven postseason starts in his career which date back to 2015. In only one of them did he hold hitters to under 3 runs. Note his latest appearance, out of the bullpen, he gave up 3 runs in just 3 innings pitched.
While Price’s postseason deficiencies are there, Yordano Ventura does little for me to instill confidence in him. It was a few months ago that Ventura was heading for the minor leagues to get his stuff in order after a brutal start, but due to injuries he was called back up before he had the chance to start a minor league game. Ventura hasn’t done anything since that reflects his phenomenal sophomore campaign with the Royals. He’s riding a 4.50 ERA in his last three starts coming into this game. Note that he has a 7.71 ERA this postseason in 7 innings pitched. I think the Blue Jays offense gets back into a groove and the bats come out to play Saturday afternoon. At least enough to push this one OVER the total. The Royals should be able to get after Price for a few runs. The plus money on the OVER at 7.5 looks solid.
PICK: OVER 7.5 RUNS (+108)