The Cleveland Indians have gotten out to a fast start in the American League Championship Series, but the Toronto Blue Jays are not going to go down without a fight.

Pitching has surprisingly been the story so far in this series, with the Indians earning wins of 2-0 and 2-1 in the first two games. Considering what we had seen from these two offenses coming into the week, fans were likely expecting a lot more scoring.

With the series shifting to Toronto for the next few games and each staff forced to go further down its rotation, we might finally start seeing some offense in Game 3.


ALCS Game 3

When: Monday, Oct. 17

Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto

Time: 8 p.m. ET


Odds (via Odds Shark): Cleveland (17-10), Toronto (20-37)



There were question marks about the Indians rotation coming into the postseason with both Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar suffering injuries. However, Corey Kluber and Josh Tomlin showed there is still plenty of talent on the roster.

The two starters combined for 12 innings of one-run ball, which was more than enough for the shutdown bullpen to take over. Andrew Miller is getting most of the headlines—and rightfully so—after tallying 10 strikeouts in two games, but the entire bullpen has been incredible to this point, per Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs:

With manager Terry Francona’s creative use of Miller, Cleveland is truly getting the most out of its pitching staff from top to bottom.

Despite the shutdown performances through two games, however, the Blue Jays aren’t ready to give up on the series.

“I believe in this team,” Edwin Encarnacion said, per Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. “I know we can hit. That’s one thing I know. And the way the pitchers have been throwing the ball, that’s why I feel so comfortable.”

Toronto’s pitching staff has held up its end of the bargain, especially Marco Estrada in Game 1. The team will now turn to Marcus Stroman in Game 3, who had an up-and-down year but might be the most talented pitcher on the roster.

After allowing just two runs in six innings in the AL Wild Card Game against the Baltimore Orioles, he should have plenty of confidence going into Monday’s battle.

The question is whether the Blue Jays offense can finally get going. Encarnacion knows the team can hit, and hitting 10 home runs in the first four postseason games wasn’t a fluke. However, the squad has zero home runs in the ALCS so far and is batting just .159 as a team.

Josh Donaldson remains red-hot, but the rest of the lineup has been inconsistent at best.

The Blue Jays will hope to find some Rogers Centre magic in the next couple of games, starting Monday against Trevor Bauer. The Indians starter failed to get out of the fifth inning in his only postseason start and is known to allow home runs.

Toronto needs to take advantage of the Indians’ third starter and finally generate some offense. Otherwise, this series is over.


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