MLB Picks: Silent Bats Expected In Indians vs. Blue Jays Game 3

Stroman screaming/posing for the camera during a game

Willie Bee

Monday, October 17, 2016 2:28 PM UTC

Monday, Oct. 17, 2016 2:28 PM UTC

With Cleveland up 2-0 in the best-of-7, the ALCS now shifts to Toronto where the Blue Jays are heavy favorites on the MLB odds in Monday night playoff action.


Season: 43-45 (+0.60) Postseason: 0-5 (-5.10)

When a lineup stacked with boppers like the Toronto Blue Jays gets handcuffed by a pitching staff like the Cleveland Indians have done in the first two games of the American League Championship Series, it can lead to frustrations spilling over. And it has.

A twitter battle on Sunday might be the closest thing to fireworks we see in this series that has so far been dominated by pitching. With Cleveland up 2-0, the match now moves to Toronto for Monday's 8:08 PM (ET) first pitch at Rogers Centre. A pair of 25-year-olds, Trevor Bauer and Marcus Stroman, will try to continue the pitching theme and it's the Blue Jays who are pronounced -185 chalk at 5Dimes. That same sportsbook came out with a 9 run total before slicing off a half-run and where you can get a 50% Free Play Bonus.


Are Umpires Pinching Blue Jays Hitters?

These were two of the top 5 scoring offenses during the regular season, Cleveland second at 4.83 R/G and Toronto fifth averaging 4.69. The bats have been silent in the first two games, however, the clubs combining for all of five runs and only one of those on the Blue Jays' ledger. That has led to the two plate umpires, Laz Diaz in Game 1 and Jim Wolf in Game 2, to absorb some criticism from Toronto's dugout.

After several Jays barked at Wolf on Saturday, Jose Bautista mentioned "circumstances" to reporters, setting off a tweet battle and Corey Kluber suggestion Bautista and the rest of the Toronto lineup quit complaining.

As for the hurlers tonight, Bauer was roughed up a bit by the Red Sox in Game 1 of the ALDS, failing to complete five innings and allowing three runs, two of them scoring on solo shots. Cleveland still had enough offense to get the 5-3 win, and Bauer has since been in the news for injuring his right pinky trying to repair a personal drone. Stroman started Toronto's Game 3 ALDS clincher against the Orioles, working a strong six frames and giving up just two runs while whiffing six.


Umpire Notes, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick

Next up to call balls and strikes is ALCS crew chief Brian Gorman, the New York native making the sixth LCS plate assignment of his 26-year career. He was about as level as an ump could vs. the MLB odds this season, 10-8 O/U on totals and 9-9 Visitor-Home. It's Gorman's first appearance behind the dish at Roger Centre since 2012, also the most recent season he worked the plate in a playoff game.

We aren't concerned with the weather in Toronto since there's a roof on the park, a good thing as it turns out with rain in today's forecast. We do need to consider just how much having the crowd at Rogers behind them might energize the Blue Jays.

We also need to take into account my imperfect 0-5 record so far in the playoffs, meaning you might want to play against my baseball pick. The bats have to bust out at some point, but both pitchers did well against the opposing lineups in the regular season and I'm going to stick with the series trend with a play on the 'under' tonight in Toronto.


MLB Free Pick: Indians-Blue Jays Under 8½ (+100) Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes


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