Cleveland Indians vs. Toronto Blue Jays ALCS Game 3 Preview
Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto
When: Monday, October 17, 2016, 8:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: TBS
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Betting on the Cleveland Indians (+165)
On the mound for the Indians in Game 3 is Trevor Bauer. He started the Tribe’s ALDS Game 1 win over the Boston Red Sox but didn’t factor in the decision. Bauer yielded three runs on six hits, including a pair of homers, and was pulled after just 4.2 innings. The right-hander has allowed three or more runs in his last seven starts. Bauer will take heart in the fact, however, that he has pitched well against Toronto this season. He is 1-0 against the Blue Jays with a 1.38 ERA this campaign. He struck out 13 batters over eight innings in Cleveland’s 3-2 win against Toronto on August 19.
There’s some uncertainty, however, surrounding Bauer’s upcoming start after he cut his pinky on his throwing hand on Friday. The injury was deemed serious enough for Bauer to miss his scheduled Game 2 start against Toronto. With Bauer still a big question mark at this point, the onus is on the Cleveland hitters to get some early runs on the board in Game 3. The Indians may lead the best-of-seven series, 2-0, but they’re hitting just .182 as a team. The onus then is on Francisco Lindor to carry the scoring load for Cleveland this coming Monday. He is batting .500 (4-of-8) in the ALCS with a homer and three RBIs. Lindor is 2-of-6 in his career against Toronto starter Marcus Stroman with one RBI.
The Indians are 4-0 in their last four road games. They are pegged at +160 to win the World Series this year.
Betting on the Toronto Blue Jays (-185)
Starting for Toronto in this critical Game 3 is Marcus Stroman. The right-hander is coming off a 5-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles in the AL Wild Card game in which he allowed just two runs over six innings. Stroman will fancy his chances of extending that excellent form this coming Monday as he has fared extremely well against the Indians of late. He faced Cleveland twice during the regular season, fanning 15 batters over 14 combined innings and surrendering just two runs.
Stroman can’t do it all alone, though, and he needs the Blue Jays’ hitters to pick up the scoring slack as well. Toronto scored a whopping 22 runs in its ALDS sweep against Texas but has managed just a single run in the ALCS thus far. The pressure then is on Josh Donaldson to carry the scoring weight for the Blue Jays in Game 3. He has had a terrific postseason, going 12-of-26 with four RBIs in the 2016 playoffs. Donaldson is batting .375 in the ALCS thus far. He has had some success against Indians starter Trevor Bauer in the past, going 2-of-5 against the right-hander with three RBIs.
It’s paramount for the Blue Jays to pounce on the Indians early as they have had difficulty solving Andrew Miller in this series thus far. In the first two games against the Blue Jays, Miller has retired 11 batters, 10 of them by strikeout. He has been superb in this year’s playoffs, striking out 17 of the 28 batters he has faced this postseason. Miller has now thrown 16 scoreless postseason innings with the Orioles, Yankees and Indians dating back to 2014.
The Blue Jays are 5-1 in their last six playoff home games. They are pegged at +600 to win the World Series this year.
Toronto (-185) wins, 5-3.
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