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Toronto Blue Jays vs. Kansas City Royals American League Championship Series Game 1 Predictions, Pick, Odds & Betting Preview – October 16, 2015

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Kansas City Royals American League Championship Series Game 1 Predictions, Pick, Odds & Betting Preview – October 16, 2015

The 2015 American League Championship Series is finally upon us and it’s only fitting that the league’s two best teams this past regular season will be the ones that will contest the coveted prize. The Toronto Blue Jays and the Kansas City Royals both pulled off spectacular comebacks in their respective division series to forge a mouth-watering best-of-seven showdown that will begin on Friday night.

Who will draw first blood in this much-anticipated showdown? Read on below for an in-depth breakdown of Game 1 of this ALCS and while you’re at it,, you can check out our preview of Game 5 of the National League Division Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Mets.

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Toronto Blue Jays vs. Kansas City Royals ALCS Game 1 Preview

Where: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

When: Friday, October 16, 8:07 PM ET

Line: Toronto Blue Jays (-115) at Kansas City Royals (+105); total: 8.5 – view all MLB lines

TV Broadcast: FOX

Betting on the Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays will head to their American League Championship Series with the Kansas City Royals with momentum on their side following their dramatic 6-3 victory over Texas in Game 5 of their ALDS. Jose Bautista crushed a go-ahead three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning to lead the Blue Jays to their first playoff series win in 22 years. It was a remarkable victory for the Blue Jays who became the third team in MLB history to win a best-of-five series after losing the first two games at home.

[sc:MLB240banner ]It won’t get any easier, though, for the Blue Jays with the Royals lying in wait in the ALCS. Toronto narrowly won its season series against Kansas City, 4-3. The Blue Jays outscored the Royals in those seven games, 39-33. The Royals will get to enjoy home field advantage in this series, though, with Kansas City owning the American League’s best record.

The pressure now is on Jays starter Marco Estrada to steal that home field edge away from Kansas City in Game 1. The right-hander led the Blue Jays’ fightback in their ALDS with the Rangers, throwing 6.1 innings of one-run ball in Toronto’s 5-1 win in Game 3. He quieted a Texas offense that topped David Price and Marcus Stroman in Games 1 and 2.

Estrada’s performance was no surprise, though, considering he has been pitching superbly of late. He allowed just 46 hits over 76.1 innings over his final 12 regular-season starts. He will need to be at his best, however, against a Kansas City offense that has already scored 25 runs this postseason, second-highest in the MLB.

Given Kansas City’s firepower, it’s crucial for the Blue Jays’ offense to show up as well in Game 1. Expected to lead the Toronto attack in the series opener is Game 5 hero Bautista. He is 6-for-22 in this postseason with two homers and five RBIs. He has struggled against Royals starter Edinson Volquez in his career though. He’s just 3-of-17 (.176) lifetime against the right-hander with three RBIs.

The Blue Jays are 6-2 in Estrada’s last eight road starts.

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Betting on the Kansas City Royals

Edinson Volquez

There’s just no quit in these Kansas City Royals.

The Royals rallied from an early two-run deficit to beat the Houston Astros, 7-2, in the deciding Game 5 and effectively seal their place in the American League Championship Series. All three of Kansas City’s victories in the ALDS were of the come-from behind variety with the Royals also overturning three and four-run leads in Games 2 and 4 respectively.

Kansas City’s series-clinching victory wouldn’t be possible, though, without the heroics of Johnny Cueto. He gave up just two runs on two hits over eight innings, striking out eight. The right-hander was simply unstoppable in Game 5 as he retired all of the final 19 Houston hitters that he faced. It was a huge performance by Cueto who finally lived up to his ace status.

Next up for the Royals is a date with the Toronto Blue Jays in the ALCS. Starting for the Royals in the all-important series opener is Edinson Volquez. He picked up the loss in his last postseason start against the Astros, giving up three runs in 5.2 innings of work. He allowed five hits and four walks while striking out eight in Kansas City’s 4-2 defeat to Houston in Game 3 of the ALDS.

Thanks to the Royals’ spectacular series comeback, though, Volquez will have another chance to pitch in this postseason. He will have his work cut out for him, however, against a Toronto lineup that scored the most runs (891) in the majors this season. Friday’s showdown marks Volquez’s first meeting against Toronto since he nearly plunked Josh Donaldson twice in a heated affair at Rogers Centre back in August. The Blue Jays won that contest, 5-2. Volquez has faced the Blue Jays twice this season, allowing six runs (three earned) and nine hits in 11.1 innings pitched. The Royals went 1-1 in those two games.

Volquez can’t do it all alone, though, and he needs the Royals’ batters to deliver some big hits as well this coming Friday. Expected to lead the Kansas City offense in this crucial Game 1 is Ben Zobrist. He is hitting 6-of-18 this postseason with one RBI. Another player who’s expected to contribute for the Royals is Kendrys Morales. He went 5-of-19 in the ALDS with three homers and six RBIs. Morales is 1-of-5 lifetime against Jays starter Marco Estrada with a pair of RBIs.

The Royals are 4-0 in their last four League Championship games.

Writer’s Prediction

Toronto (-115) defeats Kansas City in Game 1, 7-4.

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Joel
Written by Joel

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