October 21, 2015 (2:00 PM ET)
There is one MLB pick today.
We're also releasing a college football pick for Friday, two days in advance.
Take Toronto Blue Jays on the Money Line (-134) against KC Royals risking 4.02% of bankroll to win 3%.
(Estrada and Volquez must start for wager to have action)
The Blue Jays squandered what should have been a favorable opportunity yesterday against rusty pitcher Chris Young and now find themselves in an unenviable position being down 3-1 in the series with their season on the line. They must win to extend the series and that actually gives them the advantage in this particular contest. Toronto cannot afford to hold anything back. There is no tomorrow for these players if they do not win this game. They have their full roster at their disposal in what is an all hands on deck situation. Even 'Ace' David Price will be available for bullpen duty if they need him! They do not have to worry about resting players or worrying about who is starting for the next game; their sole focus is on the contest right in front of them.
For the Royals, the exact opposite is true. Now holding a commanding 3-1 lead has to have their players brimming with confidence and already planning their World Series trips. Unlike their counterparts, the Royals aren't facing a must-win scenario. They have the luxury of putting in a mediocre performance and still be in a great position to advance. This is the one situation where we feel that if the Kansas City players were to have a letdown game in this series, it would come in this contest.
It's worth mentioning that Kansas City actually put in their best effort to come away with a win in yesterday’s contest as they used their best set of relievers outside of closer Wade Davis yesterday. Kelvin Herrera, Madson and Morales each got an inning of work. All 3 could see action in this contest again today but now the Blue Jay bats have seen them the previous day and will be more used to their style and mechanics.
Prior to his start in Game 1, Marco Estrada who is a grounded man and a veteran pitcher, had 2 quality starts against Kansas City and is capable of another today. In 61 previous plate appearances against Estrada, the Royals have only a .235 on-base percentage and just a .258 slugging percentage! Estrada also pitched in Game 3 for the Blue Jays against Texas when they had opened also faced an 0-2 deficit and were risking elimination. He was the pitcher that got them back on track and forced a next game and we expect him and teammates to do the same again today.
The same can't be said for his counterpart, Edinson Volquez. Volquez was solid in the series opener but had previously struggled mightily against this loaded Blue Jay lineup. Overall, he's walked more batters (17) than he's fanned (14) when facing Toronto and giving free passes is very dangerous against a home run hitting team like Toronto in hitter friendly ball park like the Rogers Center.
We believe that this team is not short on confidence despite trailing 3-1 in this series. They believed in themselves before when facing elimination and do so now. They know they are a good team and said that whether up 2-0 or down 0-2 or whatever, the mood in the clubhouse is the same. The players don't seem different, normally when a team is already mentally defeated, you can see that in their body language and the players are not exhibiting that at the moment. This team actually got better against Kansas City as the regular season went on, going on to win the last 3 meetings between the two before the playoffs! They now have to do the same thing to make it to the World Series and while that'll be tough to pull off, they do have numerous advantages today which should allow them to force Game 6 and keep their playoff hopes alive for one more game.
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