The Jays and Royals have split the four games they’ve played since we lost our Game One play last week. And a sweep over on the other side of the World Series matchup means we need some action sooner rather than later. Friday night’s card doesn’t appear to present a whole lot of value so we’re going to go ahead and play a gut call for halfsies in an elimination Game Six.
Backing the desperate side certainly wouldn’t have paid in the NLCS, though it did if you were on Toronto as a home favorite on Wednesday. And Vegas has once again dangled the original series favorite with its back against the wall as a tempting road favorite to extend the series. I don’t buy the desperation as a psychological factor here, but I do consider the momentum at large. The Jays shook off the 14-2 shellacking to stay alive and now have to feel good about their chances to just see a Game Seven after falling behind 3-1. David Price’s playoff monkey seems to resemble Clayton Kershaw’s of the previous couple of years. His peripherals aren’t bad but he can’t seem to avoid the one rough inning, or even just at-bat, that inflates the ERA. I’m still a steady buy on the guy.
But Yordano Ventura hasn’t even been good enough in the regular season to label his playoff struggles as an aberration. He’s allowed three runs in all three of his playoff starts this year and put ten Jays on base in 5.1 innings in Game Two. As the prolonged season wears on, I like Ventura less and less. And I can’t say I’ve ever necessarily liked him as much as Vegas does at any point this season.
I’m going with the Ned Yost lineup construction philosophy on this one. I won’t try to convince anybody that the road side presents long-term value here, but they’re only playing it once! I have a feeling KC will have to get it done in a Game Seven. We’re not ready for The Series just yet.
Free Pick: Jays -125
YTD: 29-24-5 +0.34
2014: 45-28-3 +9.02