Cleveland Indians (+100) at Toronto Blue Jays (-120, 9 o/u)
The Toronto Blue Jays (75-57, 44-24 home) and their big bats have been virtually silenced over the first two games of their three-game set with the Cleveland Indians (64-67, 35-33 road). Tonight’s rubber-match (7:00 PM Eastern at the Rogers Centre) could be a higher scoring affair, though, as two pitchers having mediocre seasons take the mound; R.A. Dickey (9-10, 4.25 ERA) will get the nod for the Jays while Trevor Bauer (10-10, 4.31 ERA) starts for the Tribe.
Cleveland surprised Toronto on Monday, tagging ace David Price for four earned runs en route to a 4-2 win. Youngster Danny Salazar pitched a gem, holding the Jays to just two runs on six hits over seven innings.
The Indians got another great performance from their starter last night as Cody Anderson limited Toronto to two runs on three hits over six strong. A Yan Gomes solo shot tied the game at three in the top of the ninth, but the Jays responded in extras with second baseman Ryan Goins blasting a two-run walkoff homer in the tenth for a 5-3 win.
Dickey looked to have turned his lackluster season around post-All-Star Break, but has returned to mediocrity of late. The 40-year-old former Cy Young winner has given up 13 earned runs over 16.2 innings in his last three starts. His last start wasn’t terrible, though, as he limited the Tigers to six hits and three earned over 6.2 innings, picking up his ninth win of the year in the process.
Bauer, meanwhile, has posted two of his best starts of the year in his last two outings, giving up just two earned runs over 14.1 innings while fanning 14. But the 24-year-old righty was getting hit hard before that, and still has a 4.35 ERA over his last seven.
Betting-wise, it’s unpredictable how Dickey’s knuckleball will be dancing on any given night, making a wager on the Jays a bit risky. But the Jays’ bats are only going to be held down for so long, and Bauer is susceptible to the big inning. With Toronto sitting at just -120, the home team looks like better value.
Pick: Toronto (-120).
(Photo Credit: Keith Allison (Flickr: R.A. Dickey) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)