Game 1 of the ALCS is set for Friday night on TBS as the Toronto Blue Jays visit the Cleveland Indians. Both teams have had some time to get ready for this series as the Blue Jays haven’t played since Sunday when they beat Texas while the Indians have been off since eliminating Boston on Monday. The probable pitching matchup for Game 1 on Friday night has Marco Estrada going for the Blue Jays while the Indians send Corey Kluber. Let’s look at the matchup and MLB picks.
ALCS Game 1 Odds
Cleveland Indians -132, total 7.5 under
Probable Pitching Matchup
Marco Estrada was great in Game 1 of the ALDS against Texas as he allowed just one run on four hits while striking out six. Estrada was 9-9 this season with a 3.48 ERA. Estrada is 3-1 with a 2.68 ERA in his career in the playoffs.
Corey Kluber held Boston to no runs and three hits in seven innings in his first-ever playoff start. Kluber went 18-9 this season with a 3.14 ERA. Kluber has struggled in his career against Toronto with a 1-3 record and a 5.34 ERA.
The Blue Jays went 89-73 this season while the Indians were 94-67. Both teams come into this game off three-game sweeps in the ALDS as the Blue Jays rolled over Texas while Cleveland took out Boston. "We definitely feel good with where we're at," Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson said, "We're pitching well and we're playing good defense, and right now we've been able to hit the homer. And that's big." Toronto was fourth in the league in home runs with 223.
The Indians also rely on the home run and they actually scored more runs this season than Toronto although they don’t get the respect the Blue Jays get. "If you watch the way they go about their business every day, we might not be the most talented team in this league, I don't know," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "But that doesn't mean we can't win. And I think everybody in here believes that. We get to keep playing. That's the best thing I can say. We get to keep playing. Hopefully, when it's time to go home, it can be on our terms."
The teams met seven times this season with Cleveland winning four games while Toronto won three. The teams have never met in the postseason. The Indians hit just .227 against Toronto this season.
The Blue Jays are 4-0 in their last 4 road games. The Blue Jays are 4-1 in their last 5 vs. the American League Central. The Blue Jays are 9-3 in Estrada’s last 12 road starts.
The Indians are 4-0 in their last 4 vs. American League East. The Indians are 12-2 in their last 14 home games vs. a right-handed starter. The Indians are 43-16 in their last 59 home games. The Indians are 19-7 in Kluber’s last 26 starts.
The Under is 8-2-1 in the Blue Jays last 11 road games. The Under is 8-1 in Estrada’s last 9 starts vs. the American League Central. The Under is 7-2 in the Indians last 9 vs. the American League East. The Under is 5-2 in Kluber’s last 7 home starts. The Under is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings.
Estrada doesn’t get nearly enough attention as he almost always gives the Blue Jays a quality start. I will take Toronto in this game and also play the game under.