I can’t really imagine any object immovable enough to repel the blow of a run-away train. But what happens when a run-away train comes head-on with something intangible? A team that doesn’t lose in the American League playoffs due to witchcraft alone? A steam engine vs. black magic, your 2015 American League Championship Series.
Before a single playoff game had been played this year, the Toronto Blue Jays had the best chances to win the World Series according to the computers that tell us such things in 2015. Those chances plummeted dramatically after the first two games in Canada, where the Rangers earned a pair of wins. On the brink of elimination, Toronto ripped off three straight wins and appears to once-again be that favorite that the rest of the Rangers couldn’t quite finish. The remaining playoff field must wonder if there’ll be a second chance.
Riding its momentum into Kansas City, Toronto meets last year’s AL champs who have retained their 2014 aura and even taken it a step up from aura to whatever the next rung on the ladder of invincibility is. The Royals trailed the Astros by multiple runs in all three of their wins in the Divisional Series, twice late. And now it’s much more than just the clubhouse that believes in KC’s intangibles.
My thought is that whatever KC has going on will weather Toronto’s momentum and that the underdog wins this series and gets another shot at the Series. But I’m not ready to back it up with a play in Game 1. I’m not even ready to play all of Game 1 at all. The only angle I feel comfortable enough to play Friday is the first half for half; and it’s the Blue Jays I like (remember, KC will weather the storm; it doesn’t come to a screeching halt). Look for Toronto to come out hot and get to Mr. Volquez, who threw 200 innings for the first time in his career and saw his BAA rise along the way. The bet’s that Marco Estrada stays steady enough to take a lead into the bullpen battle.
Free Pick: Jays (first 5 innings) -120
YTD: 28-23-5 -0.06
2014: 45-28-3 +9.02
alcs • Canada • estrada • game 1 • kansas city royals • ned yost • toronto blue jays • volquez