Trevor Bauer (9-5, 3.97 ERA) and Francisco Liriano (6-12, 5.46 ERA) take the hill in the first of a three-game series between the Cleveland Indians (69-50) and the Toronto Blue Jays (69-52) at Progressive Field. Action begins at 7:10 p.m. ET on Friday, Aug. 19 and can be seen on STOh and RSN1.
Bauer pitched 6.0 innings in his most recent start, surrendering four runs, striking out four and walking two in a 5-4 win over the Angels. Carlos Santana (.245, 63 Rs, 26 HRs, 63 RBIs, 5 SBs) continued his strong play yesterday, going 2 for 3 with one run. Liriano went 5.2 innings, surrendering five runs, striking out four and walking two in a 5-3 defeat to the Astros in his last outing. Edwin Encarnacion (.269, 76 Rs, 34 HRs, 100 RBIs, 2 SBs) went 1 for 5 Wednesday with one run.
Cleveland is a -130 favorite against Toronto and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at nine runs. The Indians have recorded an overall money line of +518 and have shown high-level performance as a favorite this season with a record of 53-35. Cleveland is an impressive 5-2 as the favorite over its last 10 games. The Indians are one of the best in the MLB in terms of extra base hits with 401. Cleveland is one of the best in the MLB in terms of steals, swiping 102 bases. Turning to the pitchers, the Indians are the top team in the AL at limiting hits to their opponents, allowing only 8.2 hits per game so far this season. Opponents have consistently been struck out by the Indians, who rank third in the AL in strikeouts per game with 8.4.
In games where it is the underdog, Toronto has a 13-17 record and an overall money line of +195. Offensively, they average four runs per game on the road, which is fifth in the AL. Toronto is excellent at drawing walks with an AL-best 3.7 per game. When it comes to preventing batters from getting on base, the Blue Jays are one of the best in the league with a WHIP of 1.216 for the season.
The Indians have a great 13-5 record at home (23-12 overall) against left-handed starting pitchers, which is what they'll be facing when Liriano takes the mound. Bauer (RHP) will be on the hill against the Blue Jays, who have a 52-34 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - CLE, O/U - Over
Toronto has won 52% (26-24) of its games when leading after seven innings. However, Cleveland has won 53% (27-24) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Blue Jays are coming into this game after allowing one walk during their last outing. The Indians have a 13-13 record when opponents give up one walk or less.
When they outhit their opponents, the Blue Jays are 55-9. The Indians have a 55-6 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking sixth, Toronto sits in the top 10 of the league in runs, scoring 586 this season. Cleveland ranks in the top five at fourth with 605.
Ranking 13th, Cleveland is in the top half of the league in walks, notching 375 this season. Toronto ranks in the top five at third with 451.
When the Indians hit at least one home run, they are 49-32, well-matched with the Blue Jays who are 61-30 when hitting one or more homers.