Toronto (69-53) at Cleveland (70-50)
When: Saturday, August 20th 2016
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland, OH
Time: 7:10 ET | TV: Sportsnet, SportsTime Ohio
The Toronto Blue Jays looked as if they were heading toward their fifth win in six games when disaster struck in the 9th inning last night against the Cleveland Indians. Toronto scored two in the first and held a 2-1 before Jose Ramirez tied the game with a homer and Tyler Naquin followed with an inside-the-park HR to win it for the Indians. Ramirez, who has hit safely in 22 of his last 23 games, is batting .397 with four homers, 12 RBIs and 18 runs scored in August. Toronto still holds a half game lead of the Red Sox in the AL East, while the Indians are now seven up on Detroit in the AL Central. The Blue Jays played the game without 3B Josh Donaldson (thumb) and SS Troy Tulowitzki (calf), but both are expected back in the lineup tonight. Veteran catcher Russell Martin is on a tear for the Blue Jays with fiver homers in his last five games. Martin is 10-for-19 with 10 RBIs and seven runs scored in those games, while Cleveland SS Francisco Lindor is 13-for-33 in his last eight.
Pitchers: Blue Jays – Aaron Sanchez (12-2, 2.84 ERA) | Indians – Josh Tomlin (11-6, 4.14)
Aaron Sanchez brings a 12-2 record into tonight’s contest and has allowed two runs or fewer in nine of his last ten starts. Sanchez has been stellar on the road this year with a 7-1 record and 2.40 ERA while limiting the opposition to a .225 batting average. He won his lone start versus Cleveland and tossed one inning of scoreless relief in his last encounter.
After a great start to the season, Josh Tomlin has fallen on hard times with losses in five of his last seven starts. He was solid on Monday against Boston, holding them to three runs in seven innings, but took the loss in a 3-2 setback. Tomlin received a no-decision despite pitching well in Toronto on July 1st, allowing one run and striking out a season high-tying eight in six innings.
I have to go with Toronto in this one tonight. They’ll get a spark on offense with the return of Donaldson and Tulowitzki, plus, Sanchez is pitching much better than Tomlin right now. Look for the Jays to win this won easily.
Pick: Blue Jays -120