Cleveland at Toronto ALCS Game 4 Free Pick & Lines
Will Indians manager Terry Francona come back with ace Corey Kluber in Game 4 of the ALCS in Toronto or will he stick with scheduled starter Mike Clevinger? A lot depends on what happened in Game 3 of the series on Monday night. There will be no MLB lines posted on this game until Francona finalizes his starter.
Here’s a Look at the Cleveland at Toronto ALCS Game 4 Free Pick, Lines & TV Info
When: Tuesday, Oct. 18, 4 PM ET
Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto
Probable pitchers (away/home): Mike Clevinger/Aaron Sanchez
Radio: Cleveland / Toronto
Opening MLB Lines: TBA
Why Bet on Cleveland?
As of now, Clevinger is listed as the starter but if he had to be used on Monday then Francona will bring back Kluber. Kluber opened the ALCS on Friday by throwing 6 1/3 scoreless innings in a 2-0 win by the Indians. He combined with Andrew Miller and Cody Allen on a seven-hitter. If the Indians started Kluber, who has never pitched on short rest, in Game 4, they could start Clevinger in Game 5 or pitch Josh Tomlin on short rest in Game 5. Tomlin beat the Blue Jays in Game 2 on Saturday. If they don’t start Kluber in Game 4, he could start Game 5.
“I want to sit down with Mick (Callaway, pitching coach)," said Francona. “I’m pretty convinced Kluber could do it pretty seamlessly. But it’s not just that, it’s how does it affect everybody else.”
Clevinger was 3-3 with a 5.26 ERA this regular season for the Indians in 17 games, 10 starts. The 25-year-old turned in a 5.93 ERA with an .837 opponents’ OPS in those 10 starts, compared to a 3.00 ERA and a .515 opponents’ OPS in seven relief appearances. The righty filled in as a starter for much of the final month, but he was moved back to the bullpen shortly before the postseason. During the ALDS, Cleveland did not stretch Clevinger out, but the team is not overly concerned. He won’t be on any pitch count for Game 4.
“It’s playoff games,” Clevinger said. “If they want me to go 130 [pitches] or if they want me to go 15, I’m going to go.”
Clevinger hasn’t pitched since Oct. 1 when he threw two-thirds of an inning in Kansas City. He pitched 1.1 innings of relief against Toronto on Aug. 21 and didn’t allow a run with three strikeouts. No Blue Jays batter has more than two official at-bats off him.
Why Bet on Toronto?
The Jays go with their ace, young right-hander Aaron Sanchez. He was 15-2 with a 3.00 ERA during the season. However, he struggled in his one matchup against Cleveland this year when he gave up five runs (four earned) over four innings. Sanchez struggled in his first career postseason start, allowing six runs in 5 2/3 innings against Texas on Oct. 9. The right-hander will attempt to return to his winning ways at Rogers Centre, where he went 6-1 with a 3.74 ERA. It was far from his best outing, especially coming on the heels of his brilliant seven-inning, one-run performance against the Boston Red Sox on the final day of the regular season.
“Honestly, I was too pumped up,” Sanchez of his ALDS start. “Out of the shoot, I was buzzing. I actually came out of my mechanics a little bit. You try to tell yourself to just treat it like any other game, but as a human, as an athlete, as a competitor sometimes that energy just takes over and you just have to try to keep it in check as much as you can.”
Toronto has been monitoring Sanchez’ innings all year, and club president Mark Shapiro previously went on the record as saying he didn’t want Sanchez to exceed 220 innings. Sanchez is currently at 197 2/3 frames, and an appearance in Game 4 would mean he is limited to one start in the ALCS.
My Free Prediction
Take Sanchez at home on MLB odds.