That is how fast the Toronto Blue Jays can heat up. The Jays were dead in the water in Kansas City, scoring only 3 runs total in two games. In game 3 at the Rogers Centre the offense came to life, just like that they scored a whopping 11 runs. They took care of Johnny Cueto in quick fashion, knocking him out of the game early behind a furious rally from the Jays. The one that blew the top off the roof is a big shot from Troy Tulowitzki. He has been hot and cold this postseason but has come up and in big spots. That is the second long ball that Tulowitzki has hit this year that has come at a critical time. The Royals scrapped back to make it a respectable final score of 11-8 so every run was important there, non-bigger than from Tulowitzki. The Blue Jays can get hot like that and they can get hot in spurts. One game like that could turn into a similar one the next day, they’ve done it all season long. But this is the postseason, which most definitely doesn’t have the same feel as the regular season. If Tulowitzki can swing the stick like that again the Royals are going to be in trouble again today. Marcus Stroman did enough to hold the Royal bats back early despite allowing an early triple which led to a run in the 1st inning.
Even with the big win, the Jays could still be a game away from losing it all if they lose today. The Royals seemed to throw in the towel and save their bullpen for today after they got behind early. Chris Young will get the start for the Royals here, as he has recently been used as a member of the bullpen for the most part. Young is a journeyman that has been in the majors since 2004 with the Rangers. He’s been up and down more than anybody as a pitcher. With consistency, Young could have been a very good pitcher, but a flow chart would look like a mountain charting his ERA over his career. Young faces R.A. Dickey today, in a battle of inconsistency. Which pitcher is going to show up, Dickey or Young? It is a huge matchup as we’re either going to have a tired series or a 3-1 lead for the Royals. With a win last night, let’s try and make it happen again in the ALCS.
Kansas City Royals vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Chris Young (11-6, 3.04 ERA) vs. R.A. Dickey (11-11, 3.86)
I’ll say it right now, this is one of the more difficult games to handicap in this series. I have made money off this series, but I know when to play it safe and this is going to be more of a smaller bet for me. Given how up and down and all the way around Young and Dickey is, it makes this game particularly interesting. Dickey has been good this postseason, posting only 1 run allowed in his two starts. Just like the Jays’ offense getting hot though, Dickey can get super cool all of the sudden. If the knuckleball isn’t fluttering, it is a ball being served up on a silver platter. It’s important to look at how the opposing team fare against knuckleballers, because it’s usually really good or bad. Here Dickey has struggled against the Royals for the most part, yielding a 4.20 ERA and high 1.46 WHIP in eight starts.
My problem with Chris Young is that he hasn’t been used much by the Royals in the last couple months. He’s primarily been coming out of the bullpen in relief. In his last ten games, dating back August, Young has pitched an average of only 2.44 innings in his last ten games. The most he’s gone is 6 innings. Now they want to throw him in front of the Blue Jays in front of the biggest games of the year? I just don’t know about that. Getting game 3 and 4 back-to-back days is big for the Blue Jays because of how hot they were yesterday. Look for the Jays to continue hitting the ball effectively, but Dickey is the wildcard. In that case, I’m going to look for runs and the OVER 9.
PICK: OVER 9 RUNS (-110)