The Land versus the 6.
Cleveland versus Toronto.
A trip to the World Series on the line.
Buckle up, because this should be an exciting series.
The winner of this series will not only make it to the World Series, but will also have home-field advantage due to the American League winning the All-Star Game. Cleveland will have home-field in this series,.
Cleveland and Toronto both advanced to the American League Championship Series by sweeping their opposition. The Indians took down the Boston Red Sox, while the Blue Jays took care of the Texas Rangers, who had the best record in the AL. Toronto defeated the Baltimore Orioles in the wild card game on a walk-off home run by Edwin Encarnarcion.
The Indians pitching staff stifled the powerful Boston lineup, limiting the Sox to just seven runs in the sweep. Boston scored 101 more runs than any other team in the regular season, but Cleveland’s pitching got the job done.
Corey Kluber, who will start Game 1 on Friday night at Progressive Field, got things started against the Red Sox. He pitched seven strong innings, scattering just three hits, giving up zero runs and striking out seven. Relief pitcher Andrew Miller will be the x-factor for the Tribe in this series. In the regular season he had a 1.45 ERA, a 0.69 WHIP, 123 strikeouts and only nine walks. Manager Terry Francona can put Miller in at any time when the starters exit the game. He could be the answer to Toronto’s hot bats.
Speaking of the Jays’ offense, it was white-hot in the ALDS against the Rangers. Toronto outscored Texas 22-10 and had eight home runs by seven different batters. Reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson has yet to hit a home run, but did go 7-13 with four doubles and he scored the game-winning, series-clinching run when Texas committed an error.
Marco Estrada will get the ball in Game 1 and that is a good sign for Toronto. In Game 1 of the ALDS, he pitched 8 2/3 innings, allowing just one run. He is 3-1 with a 1.95 ERA in four postseason starts dating back to last October.
Cleveland outscored the league’s highest scoring team 15-7. Lonnie Chisenhall was able to hit a home run and Coco Crisp, who was acquired ahead of the trade deadline for the postseason, hit a crucial two-run home run in the clinching game against Boston.
Toronto has a stellar bullpen themselves that can cause problems for the Tribe. In 14 innings pitched this postseason, the bullpen has allowed just two runs. Closer Roberto Osuna has been lights out in the playoffs, despite having an injury scare in the wild card game.
The Indians are making their first trip to the ALCS since 2007 and are seeking their first World Series appearance since 1997. The Blue Jays have reached the ALCS for the second-straight season and are looking to get back to the Fall Classic for the first time since winning back-to-back World Series in 1992-93.
This series has the potential to go the distance, something all baseball fans would enjoy, that is if you aren’t rooting for one of the two teams.
In the NBA this season, Cleveland took on the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals and now the Indians and Blue Jays will square off.