Kansas City at Toronto ALCS Game 3 MLB Free Picks

Posted by Alex Murphy on October 19, 2015 in

The Kansas City Royals have so far dominated the MLB odds of their ALCS against the Toronto Blue Jays, taking the first two games of the series by a combined score of 11-3. Even so, both games were played in the friendly confines of Kansas City, meaning tonight’s Game 3 clash against the Blue Jays in Toronto will be tougher and less friendly, especially because the Jays have been playing some of their best baseball at home this season.

Can Johnny Cueto lead the Royals to victory in tonight’s MLB betting lines, or will Marcus Stroman and the Jays make good value of being slight home baseball betting favorites in this clash? Find out as we break it all down in the baseball game preview given below.

Kansas City Royals at Toronto Blue Jays ALCS Game 3 MLB Free Picks

Starting Pitchers: Johnny Cueto vs. Marcus Stroman
Venue: Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Date: Monday, October 19, 2015
Time: 8:07 PM ET
MLB Lines: Kansas City (+152) at Toronto (-165), OVER/UNDER 8

Given that this is a best-of-seven MLB playoff series, it’s probably too early for Kansas City fans to start celebrating a berth in the 2015 World Series odds. That being said, Toronto’s 53-28 home record in the regular season was tied for the best in the American League, underlining the strength of the Blue Jays when they are playing in Toronto.

Not to mention, starting pitcher Stroman (4-0, 1.67), a late-season addition to the Blue Jays rotation, has been performing quite well on the mound.

Most recently, he started Game 2 of the ALDS against Rangers, giving up three runs in the first two innings, before settling down and eventually going seven frames, allowing just four runs, three earned. Despite that decent start, the Jays lost that game 6-4 in 14 innings. Following that disappointing outing, he then started the series-deciding Game 5, putting a sterling performance that saw him give up just two runs in six innings to lead the Jays to a thrilling 6-3 series-clinching victory.

Even more notably, Stroman had great success in his lone career start against KC, back in May of last season, where he allowed just one run and five hits in six innings of work, helping the Jays to a 12-2 win. It therefore goes without saying that the Jays will have a competent and strong pitcher leading their unit this Monday, and combined with their superior offense, they are well-capable of taking care of business in this home game.

Of course, it’s not going to be an easy task for Marcus Stroman to outduel Cueto (11-13, 3.44), the veteran who is the big reason behind KC’s progress to the ALCS at the expense of Houston.

Cueto started Game 2 of the ALDS against Houston, a game he wasn’t that solid, as he gave up four runs and seven hits in six innings of work, but the Royals offense chipped in and rallied to win that game 5-4. Then, in his biggest of games so far in the postseason, he was chosen to start the series-deciding Game 5. And true to his big stature in MLB, Cueto proved to be a real beast, showing real dominance in eight innings of work. In those eight frames, he allowed just two runs (on a two-run homer from Luis Valbuena during the second inning), while walking none, whiffing eight and retiring the last 19 batters he faced, which helped the Royals to  resounding 7-2 victory over the Astros. And as an added boost to the Royals, Cueto is 2-0 with a 4.05 ERA in three career starts vs. Toronto.

Cueto’s resoluteness aside, history also appears to be in the favor of the Royals, considering that 22 of the last 25 teams to take a 2-0 lead in a best-of-seven MLB playoff series have ended up winning that series.

Oh, and not to forget, you all remember how Toronto’s ace David Price blew a 3-0 lead in Game 2, allowing five consecutive hits in the bottom of the seventh, giving the Royals five easy runs that earned them the win  on that day. With such shakiness, it is hard to trust that the Blue Jays won’t be shaky in tonight’s game.

Noteworthy Game Statistics

•    On the season, the Blue Jays are 5-1 in Stroman’s starts, with the OVER going 4-2 in the process.
•    On the season, the Royals are just 6-9 in games Cueto has started, but 4-1 over the ace’s last five starts, with the OVER going 11-4 in the process.
•    Kansas City is ranked sixth with a .416 team slugging percentage and 11th-best in the MLB this season against right-handed pitchers with a .321 team on-base percentage.
•    Toronto leads the MLB against righties with both a .455 team slugging percentage and a .335 team OBP.

Key Betting Trends

•    Kansas City is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
•    Toronto is 3-6 SU in its last 9 games
•    Kansas City is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games on the road
•    Toronto is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games at home
•    Toronto is 5-1 SU in its last 6 home games against Kansas City
•    The total has gone UNDER in 15 of Kansas City’s last 23 road games against Toronto

Game Prediction

Though this is a tossup pitching matchup, Stroman looks to have some slight edge, mainly because he’ll be supported by a better offensive unit and a strong home crowd, so the Blue Jays look most likely to eke out the win in this matchup, with the total going OVER in a relatively high-scoring affair.