The Cleveland Indians (52-52, 26-29 away) and the Toronto Blue Jays (55-49, 26-23 home) battle each other in game three of a four-game series Wednesday night in American League action. Cleveland took the series opener, 5-2 in extras, while the Blue Jays rolled in last night’s contest, 7-2.
The first pitch for Wednesday night’s tilt has a 7:10 p.m. EST start time at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, ON. According to the odds board, Toronto is a heavy favorite (-200), and the run total is in the double-digits at 10.
What to Know – Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians dropped Tuesday’s contest but are 4-0 in their last four games following a loss. The Indians are still in the hunt for a playoff spot but will need to string some wins together over the next few weeks. Cleveland is in second place in the AL Central, 9.5 games behind the Chicago White Sox.
Right-handed pitcher J.C. Mejia (1-6, 7.60 ERA, 1.49 WHIP) is expected to make the start on the mound of the visitors. The year hasn’t gone well for the 24-year old and the month of July was his worst with a 10.55 ERA over five appearances on the bump. Mejia allowed four runs off four hits with two strikeouts over 4.1 innings in his last start.
The Indians’ offense ranks 29th in the league in on-base percentage (.297) and 18th in slugging percentage (.399). Third baseman Jose Ramirez continues to be a spark at the plate, leading the Indians in home runs (23) and runs batted in (64). After missing the last week of May and June, outfielder Franmil Reyes has hit nine home runs and driven in 22 runs since his return from the injured list on July 2nd.
What to Know – Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays have flipped the switch over the last ten days, winning six of their previous eight games. The Blue Jays find themselves sitting in fourth place in the loaded AL East, seven games back of the Tampa Bay Rays. Toronto is also in the thick of a potential playoff bid, just three games back of the second wild-card spot.
The expected starter for the hosts is lefty Steven Matz (8-6, 4.58 ERA, 1.38 WHIP). Matz looks to rebound after surrendering four runs over 3.1 innings in his last trip. The 30-year old has struck out 91 over 90.1 innings this season and allowed 100 hits and 25 free passes.
Toronto’s offensive lineup is one of the best in baseball, ranking seventh in on-base percentage (.328) and first in slugging (.458). All-star designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is one of the best hitters in baseball, sporting a .324 batting average with 34 home runs and 85 RBIs. Those numbers rank third, second, and first amongst MLB hitters.
The Pick is In
Both teams should have no trouble scoring runs in bunches against these two pitchers. Toronto is a clear favorite, but the value in siding with the home team is not enough. We should have no sweat here hitting the over.
The Pick: Indians/Blue Jays OVER 10 runs