It was bound to come to an end. The Cleveland Indians fell to the Toronto Blue Jays yesterday, in the process snapping a mammoth fourteen-game winning streak. I said in any earlier article that the Blue Jays were going to send the Indians a loss this week. That loss just so happened to come yesterday. With the streak over, the Indians hope to get back on the saddle and start another prosperous streak of games. Corey Kluber will be tagged as the guy to get back in the win column this afternoon in Toronto. It was a big win for the Jays, who snapped a late 6-6 tie to capture a 9-6 victory. The Tribe need to put their head down and keep on trucking. Now that their historic run is done with, they can’t get caught up in it and dwell on the past. You will see sometimes teams coming off these massive streaks end up dropping a few straight after they lose that first game. The Indians will try and avoid such an occurrence early this afternoon at the Rogers Centre in downtown Toronto.
In a way, the Blue Jays and their fans are still trying to forget about what transpired last season in the postseason. It’s one of those things you want to remember, because the Blue Jays had one of the best seasons in team history, but in the same instance, you can’t really forget how close they came to the World Series. In any event, it’s a season that will be remembered for a long time. The Jays advanced to 44-39 yesterday, a position which I believe will see them competing for a wildcard spot or for the division later in the summer. It could go either way by the looks of it. The Orioles and Red Sox are ahead of the Jays in the AL Central, the Jays currently 0.5 games back of first. When the Blue Jay bats are swinging well they can do more damage than any other team in the division. It is going to be really interesting to see what the Jays do at the trade deadline. Very interesting.
Cleveland Indians vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Corey Kluber (8-7, 3.50 ERA) vs. J.A. Happ (10-3, 3.70 ERA)
This certainly isn’t the first rodeo with the Blue Jays for J.A. Happ. Happ made his first stint beginning in 2012 for three years. Perhaps the most memorable time for Happ in Toronto then was the line drive he took to the head. The ball ricocheted off his head all the way to a dugout. Needless to say, it looked like his career might be done. After stops in Pittsburgh and Seattle a year ago, Happ is back with the Blue Jays, and for what the Jays expect to get out of him he’s been performing just fine. Happ comes into today with an ERA of 3.70 and a healthy record of 10-3. I would like to see him with better numbers at home, though. Note that he owns an ERA of 4.50 with a 1.42 WHIP in Toronto. He has been getting excellent run support at the Rogers Centre, as his record stands at 5-1 in Toronto.
The Blue Jays haven’t had many problems initiating damage against Corey Kluber. They have hit Kluber for a 4.82 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP in three starts. Happ matches that WHIP, with a 1.45 against the Indians. He’s done well against the Indians, posting a 3.38 ERA, but he has never faced the Indians in this kind of form. I like some fireworks in Toronto on this holiday weekend. Expect the bases to be juiced frequently, with runners coming home to the plate to push this one OVER the total of 8.5 on Sunday afternoon.
PICK: OVER 8.5 RUNS (+105)