The Toronto Blue Jays lived to fight another day after a 5-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday evening in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series. 

Now, with their series deficit at 3-1 and the Indians once again one win away from their first World Series appearance since 1997, a quick turnaround awaits both teams, as the first pitch of Game 5 is on Wednesday afternoon:


Game 5 Odds

Courtesy of Odds Shark.

Indians: +1.5

Blue Jays: -1.5


Game 4 was the first time the Blue Jays led in the entire series, as their bats were dormant over the first three games of the ALCS. 

Games 1 and 2 even saw Toronto score a combined one run, which was just the third time in 2016 that they were held to one run or fewer over a two-game span. 

But on Tuesday, reigning American League MVP Josh Donaldson finally announced his presence on the big stage of the ALCS by giving the Blue Jays a lead they would not relinquish:

It was a jolt that Toronto was starving for. Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan broke down just how inept its offense was in the first three games:

Donaldson’s bomb was just one of nine hits on the daymore than half the total number of hits the Blue Jays had in Games 1 through 3. 

Now, the Indians will try to stymie any kind of Toronto momentum by rolling out rookie pitcher Ryan Merritt for Game 5 to face Toronto’s Marco Estrada. 

In a limited sample size of just 11 innings (four appearances, one start) this year, Merritt has allowed two runs on six hits. The 24-year-old will become just the second pitcher in MLB history to start a postseason game with one career start, per’s Richard Justice

That sort of unfamiliarity could prove a challenge to the Blue Jays, as they won’t have many major league outings to scout Merritt from. 

However, the moment could prove too large for Cleveland’s arm, and early struggles could give the Blue Jays an advantage. If that’s the case, expect a short leash, plenty of pitching changes and a lot of reliever Andrew Miller on Wednesday as the Indians look to end the series before heading back to Cleveland.


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