Thoughts on ALDS MLB Betting: Texas vs Toronto
The Toronto Blue Jays laid it all on the line in Monday’s Game 4 in Texas. Maybe too much. Why? Because ace David Price threw 50 pitches in a game that the Blue Jays led by scores of 7-0 and 8-1 on the way to an 8-4 win. Given that it was never really in doubt, why would manager John Gibbons waste the chance to have a rested Price start Game 5 opposite Rangers ace Cole Hamels? If the Blue Jays end up losing Game 5 after taking Games 3 and 4 in Texas, that will be the first question that many Toronto MLB betting fans want to ask their team’s manager.
Thoughts on ALDS MLB Betting: Texas Rangers vs Toronto Blue Jays
Instead, the Blue Jays will send 24-year-old Marcus Stroman to the mound in Game 5. He started Game 2 for the Blue Jays, a game that they would lose, even though Hamels initially handed the Blue Jays an early lead before settling down and letting the Ranger offense take over the game.
Stroman missed most of the 2015 season after having surgery on a torn ACL in his left knee. However, as he told news sources, “I would say I’m confident. Some people may call it cocky. It is what it is. It’s something that my dad kind of raised me with, a huge chip on my shoulder. I’m not scared to say that, I’m extremely confident. That’s something that I pride myself on, that’s the reason I’m at where I’m at.”
Stroman’s Toronto teammates have noticed this swagger, and it is one of the reasons why his manager is ready to have him start the winner-take-all game in this ALDS. Gibbons told SportsNet, “He’s smart, intelligent, he’s got everything going. But he’s cocky. He’s one of those guys, you know, you think OK, he believes he can do it but let’s see it.”
Not many expected Stroman to return at all this season when he tore the ACL during spring training, so when he returned to the starting rotation near the beginning of September, he surprised the experts. He earned victories in all four of his September starts, striking out a total of 18 batters and posting an ERA of 1.67. Even though the Blue Jays lost Game 2, Stroman’s work was acceptable, as he permitted four runs (only three earned) and whiffed five batters over seven innings. The game went all the way to the 14th inning, by which time Stroman’s night had long been over.
Cole Hamels, pitching in Game 5 for the Rangers, has 14 postseason starts in his career. His record is 7-4 with 83 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.08. Game 5 will be Stroman’s second career postseason start. The fact that the Blue Jays used Price so heavily in Game 4 means that the Blue Jays will not have any left-handed pitchers available out of their bullpen. Aaron Loup is on the postseason roster but is away from the team right now on a personal matter that the Blue Jays have declined to discuss. So the gamble is big – and the rewards could be too.