The Texas Rangers will try and stay alive on Sunday night as they visit the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday in Game 3 of the ALDS on TBS. The Blue Jays throttled the Rangers in Texas in the first two games of this best-of-five series winning 10-1 and 5-3. It won’t be easy for the Rangers on Sunday as they have to find a way to beat Aaron Sanchez who was the best pitcher for the Blue Jays this season. Let’s look at the contest and MLB picks.
Probable Pitching Matchup – Lewis vs. Sanchez
Colby Lewis has traditionally been a very good pitcher in the playoffs with a 2.38 ERA in nine career postseason starts. He was 6-5 this season with a 3.71 ERA. He pitched twice against the Blue Jays this season and went seven innings in both starts.
Last year the Rangers won the first two games on the road in Toronto and they were never able to win the third game as the Blue Jays came back to win the series. "We're up against it," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "We've got to win three in a row. We were on the other side of that last year. We've been in situations where we won three games in a row before. We've got to start with one."
Sanchez was brilliant for the Blue Jays this season going 15-2 with a 3.00 ERA. He made nine relief appearances in the playoffs last season and didn’t allow an earned run.
The Blue Jays are not taking Sunday’s game lightly as they know a 2-0 lead is not enough. "I learned something last year," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said, "You know what? You've got to win three games. They've got a great team over there. You don't lead the American League, a powerhouse league, you don't luck into that."
The Rangers are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings in Toronto. The Rangers are 0-4 in their last 4 vs. the American League East. The Rangers are 0-5 in their last 5 playoff games. The Rangers are 0-5 in Lewis' last 5 starts. The Blue Jays are 4-1 in their last 5 playoff games. The Blue Jays are 8-3 in Sanchez’s last 11 home starts.
The Over is 4-0-1 in the Rangers last 5 playoff road games. The Under is 5-1-1 in the Rangers last 7 road games vs. a right-handed starter. The Under is 3-0-1 in Lewis' last 4 road starts. The Under is 4-0 in the Blue Jays last 4 home games. The Under is 6-1 in Sanchez’s last 7 home starts. The Under is 26-10 in Sanchez’s last 36 starts overall.
Sanchez has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this season and although Lewis has very good postseason numbers it is hard to trust him on the road. I will lay the price and take Toronto in this contest.