Indians lead series 2-0
The Toronto Blue Jays probably will need to put a ball in play against Andrew Miller at some point to have a chance in the American League Championship Series. The Blue Jays will attempt to grab the momentum and avoid falling into a deep hole when they host the Cleveland Indians in Game 3 on Monday.
Miller was the star of the Indians’ AL Division Series sweep of Boston as he recorded seven strikeouts in four scoreless innings and was even better in the first two games of the ALCS, fanning 10 batters and yielding one hit in 3 2/3 scoreless frames of relief as Cleveland seized control and took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. “Same cliché, pitch by pitch,” Miller told reporters when asked about his playoff success. “Just focus on the task at hand. Try to get ahead, try to execute a good pitch to the game plan. In a sense, hope you get these guys out. They’re so good. You can execute the perfect pitch in your mind and they can hit it a long ways.” Toronto pounded out 22 runs in their three-game sweep of Texas in the ALDS but has managed one run in two contests against an Indians staff that is missing two of its best starters in Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. “I know one thing, they pitched great,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons told reporters. “I wouldn’t dare take anything from them, that’s for sure.”
TV: 8:08 p.m. ET, TBS, Sportsnet (Toronto)
LINE HISTORY: The Blue Jays opened Game 3 as -185 faves and have been bet down to -173. The total hit the board at 9 and there has been enough under money to bring the number down to 8.5 runs. Check out the complete line history here.
WEATHER REPORT: Indoors.
SHARPS SAY: “Toronto’s Marcus Stroman was fantastic in his two career starts against the Indians this season with a 1.29 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. Meanwhile, Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer has struggled with a 8.57 ERA and 1.76 WHIP in his three career starts versus the Blue Jays the past two years.
“Toronto definitely owns the pitching advantage in this game, but the price is too inflated. My numbers make the Blue Jays just a -135 favorite, so despite a distinctive pitching edge and must-win situation, there is no value with Toronto in this game.” – Covers Expert Steve Merril.
SERIES PRICE (PER WESTGATE LV SUPERBOOK):
PITCHING MATCHUP: Indians RH Trevor Bauer (0-0, 5.79 ERA) vs. Blue Jays RH Marcus Stroman (0-0, 3.00)
Bauer was the first to benefit from the dominance of Miller, who came on in the fifth inning of the ALDS in relief and earned the win. Bauer was scheduled to start Game 2 against Toronto before cutting his finger while repairing his drone and was pushed back to allow the pinky on his pitching hand to heal. The UCLA product enjoyed one of his best starts against Toronto on Aug. 19, when he allowed two runs in eight innings and struck out a career-high 13.
Stroman, who held Baltimore to two runs and four hits over six innings in his ALDS start, has not earned a victory since Aug. 14. The Duke product allowed three or fewer runs in seven of his last nine starts but could not get enough help from his teammates to land in the win column. The first of those nine turns came at Cleveland on Aug. 21, when Stroman struck out nine and yielded one run in 7 1/3 innings but was held out of the decision.
* Indians are 8-0 in their last eight overall.
* Blue Jays are 5-1 in their last six playoff home games.
* Over is 6-0-1 in Bauer’s last seven starts overall.
* Under is 6-0 in Stroman’s last six starts overall.
COVERS CONSENSUS: Bettors like Toronto to defend home field in Game 3, with 65 percent of wagers on the Blue Jays. As for the total, the public likes the Under with 58 percent of wagers on it.