The Toronto Blue Jays are on the brink of elimination after they couldn’t overcome a pitcher playing with a gimpy finger and a bullpen for the majority of the game. Hats off to Trevor Bauer for at least giving it a go on the mound, who was obviously in a ton of discomfort even before pitching on Monday night. Also, I give a ton of respect to the Cleveland bullpen who played lights out baseball following the departure of Bauer. The unlikely scenario of Bauer injuring his pinky while repairing his drone, and the Blue Jays getting to face a bullpen for 6 innings spelled a big win for Toronto. It was a golden opportunity for them to fight their way back into this series. All it seemed to do was motivate the Indians even more. Now they are a game away from reaching the World Series. Among the teams playing in the postseason, the Indians were a long shot to go all the way and win the World Series, and now they are five wins away from winning it all.
The Blue Jays were in a must-win spot yesterday, and now they are living on life support. Like I said, the Blue Jays are capable of winning four straight games, we’ve seen it done many times before. But we’ve also witnessed their offense get into these kind of unexplainable funks. They went through it in September for several weeks straight, and here we are again, the Blue Jays are stuck in that rut again offensively. On paper this team should be scoring at least 5 or 6 runs on a consistent basis, but they’ve had the rug pulled out from underneath them at times this season. This is one of those moments, and the worst possible time in the ALCS. It’s an afternoon matchup for Game 4 of the ALCS. The Jays need a win or it’s lights out in Toronto.
Cleveland Indians vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Corey Kluber (20-9, 2.96 ERA) vs. Aaron Sanchez (15-2, 3.19 ERA)
The Blue Jays will not have the opportunity to go against another bullpen and injured starter this afternoon. Instead, they get a Game 4 matchup against ace Corey Kluber. Kluber has been phenomenal throughout the regular season, and his presence has continued into the postseason. He has already shut the Blue Jays down once already in this series. This time if he does it again, it’s going to result in a trip to the World Series. If there is any guy that deserves to win a World Series on this roster it would be Corey Kluber.
Kluber has been fantastic in the postseason and has yet to allow a run scored on him. In 13.1 innings pitched he has given up a big fat donut, no runs, which came against the Red Sox and Blue Jays. Between those two games, Kluber allowed just 9 hits and 5 walks as well, while punching out 13 hitters. The Blue Jays will counter with Aaron Sanchez, who is making his second start of the postseason. It didn’t go so well against the Rangers in that start, allowing 6 runs in 5.2 innings. However, prior to that poor start, Sanchez gave up just 1 start with a 1.42 ERA, and allowed an average of 3.6 hits in each of his last three outings. This should be another low scoring game with the pitchers demanding the spotlight. The Jays need to have the lead before Andrew Miller trots out of the bullpen. He has been unhittable. Kluber and Sanchez duel it out, with the Indians playing for the right to go to the World Series.
PICK: UNDER 7.5 RUNS (-110)