The Toronto Blue Jays looked like they had a grasp on the Indians yesterday afternoon, but that was until the 5th inning when the Indians busted things open. The Tribe dismantled Sean Reid-Foley for 5 earned runs and then tacked a couple more on against Justin Shafer. By the end of the inning the Indians had a comfortable 8-3 lead. The Indians looked like a 1st place team yesterday, at least the offense, and the Blue Jays a team that aren’t going to the postseason, at least their pitching.
The offense came back with 2 runs in the bottom of the 5th to get within one swing of the bat of taking the lead, and then they added another 2 runs in the 6th to make it a 9-7 ball game. The Jays kept fighting back some more and made it an entertaining finish in Toronto. Cleveland ultimately held on for a 9-8 win, as the Blue Jays left a runner stranded on second base. It’s all about the future in Toronto, though, and Rowdy Tellez has provided a moment of hope for Jays’ fans. He brought the fans to their feet again, as he swatted his first major league home run on Saturday. People are also interested in seeing what Vlad Jr. is doing in the minor leagues than how the Jays are doing as a team.
The Indians didn’t get perfect pitching from Adam Plutko, but the rookie isn’t likely to be taking part in the starting rotation in the postseason. The Indians may go with a three-pitcher rotation and send guys like Plutko to the bullpen. The health of Bauer will be important for the Indians as we get closer to the postseason. Plutko might be helpful for an inning or two in October. The Indians will go with a guy on Sunday who will be in the starting rotation barring injury. Mike Clevinger gets the ball for Cleveland, while the Jays are scheduled to go with another rookie today, Thomas Pannone. Head below for our free Indians vs. Blue Jays pick on Sunday afternoon.
Cleveland Indians vs. Toronto Blue Jays Pick
Mike Clevinger (11-7, 3.11 ERA) vs. Thomas Pannone (1-1, 4.58 ERA)
Mike Clevinger has been one of the best pitchers in baseball that no one has heard of. If he played for the Yankees, you would never hear the end of how he is going to be the difference for them in the postseason. Clevinger, Kluber, Carrasco, and Bauer provide a terrific combo and certainly top the Yankees options in their postseason rotation. If the Indians’ offense performs like they did yesterday, that rotation is going to be difficult to top.
What the Indians really need is Andrew Miller to return to the bullpen at full speed. The relievers are the one area that teams should be able to exploit. Clevinger has been on fire, though, as he enters with an ERA of 1.93 and 0.80 WHIP in his last three games. In his previous 12.2 innings pitched, Clevinger has surrendered just 1 run and 7 hits.
He is coming off a 10-strikeout performance against the Kansas City Royals. Clevinger has been better on the road with a 2.88 ERA and 1.22 WHIP, with more than 3 runs allowed just once. The Jays are hitting .222 with 1 long ball against Clevinger in 18 at-bats. The Indians are probably not going to have to go to the bullpen as early as they did Saturday.
Thomas Pannone will be making the third start of his career on Sunday. After getting drilled for 7 runs against the Orioles, Pannone was moved back to the bullpen for his previous two appearances. In his last three outings, he holds an ERA of 6.10 and 1.26 WHIP. This is going to be his first matchup against the 3rd best offense in the major leagues. In both of his starts this season he’s played one of the worst, the Baltimore Orioles. The first time around he got them, but the O’s made him pay in the following outing. He allowed 9 hits and 7 runs in 3.1 innings. Tipping off his pitches? I’d have to think so. They likely noticed it in the first game and then took advantage of it a few days later. It’s all about the NFL on Sunday, but if you are looking for a baseball bet, the Indians backed by Clevinger on the run-line appears like a good bet.