The Toronto Blue Jays did show grit and determination by refusing to lie down and die with a game four win over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday to keep their hopes alive in the American League Championship Series.  The Blue Jays trail the Indians 3-1 in their best of seven series with game five set for Wednesday afternoon at Rogers Centre in Toronto.  

The Toronto Blue Jays will host the Cleveland Indians in game five of the American League Championship Series with a starting time of 4:05 PM ET and a telecast on TBS.  Ryan Merritt will get the start for the Tribe while Marco Estrada will take the hill for the Blue Jays.  

Toronto opened as a -180 favorite with the Indians as a +160 dog and a game total of 8.

ALCS Game 5 Odds

Toronto Blue Jays -180, total 8.5

Probable Pitching Matchup – Merritt vs. Estrada

This will be Merritt’s first start in the playoffs.  The rookie has allowed just two earned runs in six career innings of work. The Indians have gotten outstanding relief pitching behind their starters led by Cody Allen and Andrew Miller. Allen has been one of the most effective closers in the game with 32 saves this season to go with a 2.51 earned run average with 87 strikeouts in 68 innings of work.  In the post season Allen has four saves with zero earned runs allowed in 6.2 innings of work.  Allen has struck out 10 batters in just 6.2 innings of work.

Cleveland manager Terry Francona has done an outstanding job with his team and his bullpen. Francona won two World Series as manager of the Boston Red Sox and has led a moribund Indians franchise to a pair of playoff berths in just three years on the job.

Estrada was 9-9 in the regular season with a 3.48 earned run average while posting a post season record of 1-1 with a 1.65 earned run average.  

The Blue Jays need more from their offense although Edwin Encarnacion has been excellent with a .323 batting average with a 1.045 OPS with a total of 10 hits, three home runs, five runs and nine runs batted in the playoffs.
Josh Donaldson has added additional offense for the Jays with an OPS of 1.2014.

Game Trends

Cleveland has come away with the cash in six out of their last nine road games with just four out of their last 11 away games going over the total.  The Indians have lost nine out of their last 12 games as a road dog with just three out of their last eight games as a road dog going under the total.

Toronto has won seven out of their last 11 home games with nine out of their last 12 home games going under the total.

The Indians have won five out of their last seven games against the Blue Jays at Toronto with 11 out of the last 14 games between the Blue Jays and Indians at Toronto going under the total.  

MLB Predictions

I will avoid a side and just take this game under the total.