Blue Jays, Royals face of in Game 1 of AL Championship

Oct 16, 2015 8:58 AM

Take 951 TORONTO BLUE JAYS -121 over Kansas City Royals (5:07 pm PT)

The Blue Jays and Royals square off in Game 1 of the AL Championship Series at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. Marco Estrada (-120) will toe the rubber for Toronto while KC will counter with Edinson Volquez.  

Toronto (96-71) won three straight elimination games against Texas to reach their first AL Championship Series since 1993. The Jays led the majors in home runs (232) during the regular season but no team in the past 30 years who led in HR’s captured the World Series. The Royals finished 14th in the league in home runs but were second in hits.

Kansas City’s offense came alive with its season on the line scoring 14 runs in the final 11 innings of the ALDS against the Astros. The Blue Jays averaged nearly 5.5 runs per game on the road while the Royals posted an average of 4.6 runs per outing at home.

Estrada (1-0, 1.42 ERA) came up big in Game 3 against the Rangers allowing one run and five hits during his 6.1 inning stint. He allowed three or fewer earned runs in 13 of his last 14 starts. Estrada lost his only start against the Royals this season, surrendering two runs and nine hits in 6 2/3 innings in a July setback.

Volquez is coming off a Game 3 loss to the Astros on Sunday when he allowed three runs on five hits and four walks over 5 2/3 innings. He’s 0-3 with an 8.76 ERA in three career postseason starts and has never beaten Toronto, going 0-4 with a 6.76 ERA in six career starts.

The Blue Jays are listed as a 6/5 favorite to win the ALCS and advance to the World Series for the first time since 1993. The Royals are listed at 16/11 to repeat as AL champions for the first time in franchise history.

Bob Harvey joins GamingToday bringing with him over 40 years of sports writing and radio broadcasting experience. Check out my blog at Bob Harvey SportsEmail: [email protected].