Edinson Volquez (13-10, 3.58 ERA) and the Kansas City Royals take on Marco Estrada (14-8, 3.07 ERA) and the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 1 of the League Championship Series at Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium. Action begins at 8:07 p.m. ET on Friday, Oct. 16 and can be seen on FOX.
Volquez pitched 5.2 innings in Game 3 of the Divisional Playoffs, surrendering three runs, striking out eight and walking four in a 4-2 defeat to the Astros. Kendrys Morales (.289, 84 Rs, 25 HRs, 112 RBIs) went 1 for 4 Wednesday with one run, one home run, and three RBIs. Estrada went 6.1 innings, surrendering one run and striking out four in a 5-1 win over the Rangers in Game 3 of the Divisional Playoffs. Jose Bautista (.251, 111 Rs, 42 HRs, 119 RBIs, 8 SBs) has been successful at the plate, going 2 for 4 Wednesday with one run, one home run, and four RBIs.
Toronto takes on Kansas City as a -140 favorite. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is sitting at seven runs. For updated lines, check out BTB's MLB Baseball Odds.
The Royals have an overall money line of +1,904 and a record as the underdog of 37-30. Kansas City is one of the best in the MLB in terms of steals, swiping 108 bases.
In the other locker room, Toronto is coming in with an overall money line of +979 and an impressive record of 72-37 as the favorite. They played solid baseball as the favorite over their last 10 games with a 5-1 record and a 6-4 record SU. The Blue Jays can change the game with one swing of the bat, ranking second in the league with 240 home runs. Toronto is excellent at drawing walks with an AL-best 3.5 per game. The Blue Jays allow 4.1 runs per game, but have damaged those numbers in the past 10 games, allowing 5.4 runs per game during that span. When it comes to issuing walks, the Blue Jays have the fewest in the AL with only 2.5 walks allowed per game.
The Blue Jays lead the season series, 4-3.
Predictions: SU Winner - TOR, O/U - Over
Toronto has won 60% (45-30) of its games when leading after seven innings. However, Kansas City has won 64% (42-24) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Blue Jays are coming into this game after allowing two walks during their last outing. The Royals have a 53-48 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they outhit their opponents, the Blue Jays are 78-10. The Royals have a 77-8 record when outhitting opponents.
Toronto tops the league in runs with 917 this season. Kansas City ranks in the top five at fifth with 749.
Ranking first in walks, Toronto has earned 585 this season. Kansas City ranks 27th with 398 walks.
When the Royals hit at least one home run, they are 67-33, well-matched with the Blue Jays who are 86-40 when hitting one or more homers.