Toronto Blue Jays vs. Cleveland Indians - 10/19/16 MLB ALCS Game Five Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Cleveland Indians (100-67) at Toronto Blue Jays (93-76)
MLB Baseball: Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 4:08 pm (Rogers Centre)
Ryan Merritt (1-0) (1.64) vs. M Estrada (10-10) (3.32)
The Line: Toronto Blue Jays -167 / Cleveland Indians +140 --- Over/Under: 8 See the Latest Odds
The Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays play Wednesday afternoon in game five of the ALCS at the Rogers Centre on TBS.
The Cleveland Indians are coming off their first postseason loss of the year but have another chance to make their first World Series since 2007. The Indians lineup couldn’t get anything going and that Cleveland pitching staff allowed more than four runs for the first time since September 28. Still, the Indians pitching rotation overall these playoffs has been lights out and they’ve won eight straight games when allowing three or less runs. Offensively, Francisco Lindor and Lonnie Chisenhall have combined for 14 hits and eight RBI while Jason Kipnis has two home runs. The Cleveland Indians need to put together better at bats after putting together two hits and striking out nine times in their game four loss. Ryan Merritt gets the nod, and he was 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA and six strikeouts this season. This will be Merritt’s first career postseason game.
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The Toronto Blue Jays need another big home victory in order to force a game six Friday night. The Blue Jays offense finally showed up in game four, as Toronto had nine hits and scored at least one run in four of eight innings. The Blue Jays are at their best when that power lineup is putting up crooked numbers, and Toronto has now won seven straight games when scoring more than three runs. Josh Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion and Ezequiel Carrera all have double-digit postseason hits while Troy Tulowitzki has five RBI. The Toronto Blue Jays have shown just how dangerous they can be when that offense wakes up and they seem to have their confidence back. Marco Estrada takes the hill, and he was 9-9 with a 3.48 ERA and 165 strikeouts this season. Estrada is 3-2 with a 2.59 ERA and 36 strikeouts in his postseason career.
The Indians are 4-1 in their last 5 Wednesday games and 20-8 in their last 28 vs. a team with a winning record. The Blue Jays are 1-4 in Estradas last 5 home starts and 8-3 in Estradas last 11 starts with 4 days of rest. The Indians are 4-1 in the last 5 meetings and the under is 7-2 in the last 9 meetings in Toronto.
The Indians pitching rotation is all over the place due to injuries and tired arms. That's forcing 24-year-old Merritt to take the hill in what will be just his second career MLB start and just his fifth appearance overall. No, thanks. Merritt has been really solid in his outings, but we're talking about somebody with just 11 career innings under his belt being thrown into a postseason game against a Blue Jays lineup that found its groove. Estrada has been lights out in his two postseason starts and has now allowed just five runs in his last 35.1 innings of work. There's a reason the Blue Jays are such heavy favorites to send this series back to Cleveland.
While I don't love the price, I like the Blue Jays to win another one.