The Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays meet on Saturday in Game 3 of their four-game series. The Indians took the first game by a convincing margin of 9-4, and then lost a clone one, 3-2, in extras Friday night. Rowdy Tellez came up big again, as he hit another double with the Jays. It was his sixth double in just three starts in the major leagues. Tellez joins elite company with Joe DiMaggio, as the only American League rookies to hit 6 or more doubles in three games.
Additionally, he’s the first player since 1913 to hit 5 doubles in his first three games in the big leagues. With the arrival of Vlad Jr. in Toronto next season, this team could be a fun one to keep an eye on. They have issues to work out with their pitching staff, but the offense is going to be entertaining over the next few years. Any angst Blue Jays’ fans had for trading Josh Donaldson is quickly going away because of Tellez.
Tellez took the spotlight Friday night, but the Blue Jays’ pitching staff can take a bow as well. They held a good Cleveland offense to only 2 runs. Marco Estrada got a much needed good night at the office and the bullpen took care of the rest. With the Indians walking to a win in the AL Central, they don’t want to get too comfortable.
Despite the loss last night, the Indians still have a significant 15.5-game lead in the division. Terrible effort by everyone else in the AL Central, notably the Minnesota Twins who were expected to be something this season. The Indians are scheduled to go with Adam Plutko, while the Jays counter with rookie Sean Reid-Foley. Head below for our free Indians vs. Blue Jays pick.
Cleveland Indians vs. Toronto Blue Jays Pick
Adam Plutko (4-5, 5.04 ERA) vs. Sean Reid-Foley (1-2, 5.51 ERA)
Adam Plutko seen a couple of appearances last season, but only saw the mound for 3.2 innings. In his limited time in the majors, it didn’t go so well for him. He posted an ERA of 7.36 with 5 hits and 3 runs allowed. Don’t expect to see Plutko in the starting rotation in the postseason. Look for him to go to the bullpen for the Indians. If the Tribe have to rely on Plutko in a starting capacity, they’re likely going into that contest as big underdogs.
He enters with an overall ERA of 5.04 and he has beginning to show some fatigue after getting into double digit starts. Plutko has logged a 6.32 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, and .352 OBA in his previous three outings. In 15.2 innings, he allowed 17 hits and 11 runs. And note that he hasn’t been good on the road, with an ERA of 5.40.
Plutko should get some run support behind the Indians’ offense, though. They didn’t look good at the plate last night, but that is likely going to turn around against rookie Sean Reid-Foley. Reid-Foley hits the bump for the fourth start of his major league career. He goes into Saturday with a 5.51 ERA and 1.47 WHIP.
It isn’t wise to read too far into rookies, but as it is now, he’s still vulnerable as the Blue Jays get his feet wet in 2018. The Tribe are averaging 5.06 runs per game for 3rd in the majors. They didn’t look like that team last night, but I expect them to bounce back on Saturday. Who knows what Plutko is going to give, though, so the safer play here in on the OVER at Rogers Centre.