Toronto Blue Jays (Estrada 9-9, 3.48) vs. Cleveland Indians (Corey Kluber 18-9, 3.14)
Game 1, series tied 0-0
8pm ET Friday on TBS
Both the Blue Jays and Indians come are coming off Divisional round sweeps, the Blue Jays having made quick work of the Rangers, while the Indians defeated the Red Sox. Now they meet for the right to go to the World Series.
For the second series in a row, the Blue Jays are sending Marco Estrada to the hill to pitch Game 1, and given his performance the last go-round, you can understand why. Estrada went 8 ⅓ against the Rangers, giving up just 1 run on 4 hits, while fanning 6, to lead the Jays to a 10-1 win over Cole Hamels and the Rangers. Estrada’s been very good i the playoffs since joining the team last year, going 3-1 with a 1.95 ERA in 27 ⅔ innings. In his lone start against the Tribe this year, Estrada took a no-decision in a 9-6 Blue Jays win, giving up 3 runs in 5 innings, and over the course of his career, Estrada has allowed an .849 OPS to batters currently on the Indians.
After coming up huge against David Price and the Red Sox in Game 2 of their series, Corey Kluber gets the Game 1 start against the Jays. In his postseason debut, Kluber manhandled the Red Sox, the best offense in all of baseball this year, holding them scoreless over 7 innings, giving up just 3 hits and 3 walks. Kluber’s been less successful against the Jays this season, however, as he made 2 starts, going 0-1 with a 6.30 ERA, giving up 13 hits and 8 walks in just 10 innings.
The Indians won the season series with the Jays, going 4-3, but were outscored 38-24 thanks to a July 3 drubbing in which the Jays won 17-1, on a day when they chased Kluber in the 4th after scoring 5 runs on 7 hits and 4 walks. The Indians have the homefield advantage, but the Jays have the more potent lineup and the much healthier starting rotation. If Indians starter Danny Salazar had been able to make it back for the A.L.C.S., as hoped, from a strained flexor in his right forearm, the Tribe might’ve had the edge. But without Salazar and Carlos Carrasco, the Indians’ cupboard gets bare pretty quickly. Jays in 6.
Watch the Toronto Blue Jays vs. Cleveland Indians 8pm ET Friday on TBS by subscribing to Sling Orange or Sling Blue