Indians lead series 3-0
The Cleveland Indians’ ability to keep one of the most potent offenses in the American League in check have them one win away from the sixth World Series appearance in franchise history. Cleveland turns to its ace Tuesday as it attempts to remain perfect in the postseason and complete a sweep of the AL Championship Series against the Blue Jays in Toronto.
After dispatching Boston in three games in the ALDS, the Indians limited the Blue Jays to three runs over the first three contests after the wild-card club collected 22 in its three-game sweep of Texas in the ALDS. The chances of Toronto breaking out of its scoring slump appear more difficult as it faces Corey Kluber, who tossed seven scoreless innings in a victory over Boston in the ALDS before keeping the Blue Jays off the scoreboard over 6 1/3 frames in a Game 1 triumph. Cleveland pushed Toronto to the brink of elimination with a 4-2 victory Monday as Mike Napoli delivered an RBI double and a solo homer, Jason Kipnis also went deep and six relievers combined to allow two runs over 8 1/3 innings after starter Trevor Bauer exited early with an injured right pinky finger. The Indians are seeking their first World Series appearance since 1997 and first championship since 1948.
TV: 4 p.m. ET, TBS, Sportsnet (Toronto)
WEATHER REPORT: There is a 20 percent chance of rain in Toronto on Tuesday…the roof will be closed at Rogers Centre.
SERIES PRICE (Odds via Westgate LV Superbook):
PITCHING MATCHUP: Indians RH Corey Kluber (2-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Blue Jays RH Aaron Sanchez (0-0, 9.53)
Kluber starts on three days’ rest for the first time in his career because of Bauer’s early departure, pushing rookie Ryan Merritt back a day if Game 5 is necessary. The 2014 AL Cy Young Award winner and also a candidate to capture the prize this year gave up only nine hits over his first two turns this postseason, walking five while registering 13 strikeouts. Kluber was superb against the Blue Jays in the series opener but was tagged for five runs on seven hits and four walks over 3 1/3 innings of a loss at Toronto on July 3.
Sanchez’s first career postseason start was one to forget as he surrendered six runs on three hits – two homers – and four walks over 5 2/3 innings against Texas in the AL Division Series but managed to walk away with a no-decision. That outing also took place at home, where the 24-year-old Californian went 6-1 with a 3.74 ERA in 13 turns during the regular season. Sanchez is 1-0 with a 5.06 ERA in three career games (two starts) against the Indians, including a no-decision on Aug. 20 in which he yielded five runs (four earned ) and four hits in four innings at Cleveland.
* Indians are 6-0 in their last 6 playoff games.
* Indians are 10-1 in Kluber’s last 11 starts following a Quality Start in his last appearance.
* Blue Jays are 2-10 in their last 12 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15.
* Under is 5-0 in Indians last 5 playoff games.
* Under is 9-0 in Blue Jays last 9 games following a loss.
COVERS CONSENSUS: 51 percent of the Covers public is on the road underdog Cleveland Indians and Over is picking up 70 percent of the totals wagers.
Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers (+100, 6.5)
Series tied 1-1
Adrian Gonzalez and the Los Angeles Dodgers are aiming to continue Chicago’s longstanding postseason woes, and have a chance to take a 2-1 lead when they host the Cubs on Tuesday in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series. The Dodgers have the luxury of playing three straight games at home after splitting two in Chicago, with the 1-0 win in Game 2 coming courtesy of strong pitching and a home run from Gonzalez.
The Los Angeles first baseman has driven in three of his squad’s five runs in the series and manager Dave Roberts said the veteran’s production is sometimes taken for granted. “He’s one of the leaders on this club, and gets overlooked a lot because of his consistency, but certainly not in our clubhouse,” Roberts said at Monday’s press conference. “The value of a guy who posts every night regardless of the handedness of a pitcher or the spot, so, yeah, Adrian’s been a huge lift to us. The consistent at-bats, and the big hits when we need them.” Chicago attempts to regain the series lead behind right-hander Jake Arrieta, who pitched seven innings of two-hit scoreless ball in a no-decision against the Dodgers on May 31. Cubs second baseman Javier Baez is 3-for-7 in the NLCS and has hit in all six games of the postseason, going 9-for-23 with one homer.
TV: 8:08 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1
WEATHER REPORT: It’s Los Angeles. Clear, zero percent chance of rain, low humidity (30 percent), temperatures in the low 70’s, and a very light breeze (2-3 mph).
SERIES PRICE (Odds via Westgate LV Superbook):
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs RH Jake Arrieta (0-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. Dodgers LH Rich Hill (0-1, 6.43)
Arrieta, who won 18 games during the regular season, gave up two runs in six innings in a no-decision against San Francisco in the NL Division Series. The 30-year-old told reporters he is much more comfortable with the postseason expectations this time around after allowing four runs in two of his three 2015 outings. “I think going through that last year has prepared myself as well as the rest of the guys mentally for a longer run this year, and I think we’ve been able to handle the moments mentally a lot better as well as physically,” Arrieta said at Monday’s press conference. “So personally moving forward, I think I’m in a much better place, and I think a lot of our guys are as well.
Hill won 12 games in the regular season but hasn’t fared well this postseason. He lasted just seven total innings over two starts against Washington in the NLDS but defended his performance at Monday’s press conference. “For me, I go out there and give everything that I have, that’s it. That’s the bottom line,” Hill told reporters. “Your effort is everything. Your ability to go out there and stay in the moment and execute pitch to pitch and do the best that you can, that’s it. Let everything else fall where it may.”
* Cubs are 1-8 in their last 9 League Championship games.
* Dodgers are 1-4 in Hill’s last 5 starts.
* Over is 5-0 in Cubs’ last 5 road games.
* Over is 12-1-3 in Arrieta’s last 16 road starts.
* Over is 5-0 in Dodgers’ last 5 after scoring 2 runs or less in their previous game.
* Under is 13-3 in the last 16 meetings.
COVERS CONSENSUS: 68 percent of the Covers public is on the Cubs and Over is picking up 62 percent of the totals picks.