MLB League Championship Odds Favor Chicago Cubs and Toronto Blue Jays
Posted on: October 14, 2016, 04:35h.
Last updated on: October 14, 2016, 04:31h.
The MLB league championships begin tonight when the Cleveland Indians welcome the Toronto Blue Jays in a best-of-seven series.
The American League Championship Series (ALCS) is expected to be more competitive than the National League Championship Series (NLCS) pitting the Los Angeles Dodgers against the Chicago Cubs. But nothing is off limits when it comes to October baseball, as it’s the time when budding stars emerge and legends are made.
The winners of the league championships advance to the World Series.
Blue Jays vs. Indians
Cleveland’s starting pitching is banged up.
Danny Salazar, the Tribe’s ace, went 11-6 with a 3.87 earned run average during the regular season. But after suffering a forearm injury late in the season, Salazar has been on the disabled list and will miss the ALCS.
Carlos Carrasco is also out, a starter who threw 146 innings during the regular season with a 3.32 ERA. But the Indians still have Corey Kluber (18-9, 3.14 ERA) and perhaps the best bullpen in baseball.
The Blue Jays are led by its high-powered offense, particularly its number two through four hitters, Josh Donaldson (.284, 37 home runs), Edwin Encarnacion (.263 average, 42 home runs), and Jose Bautista (.234 average, 22 home runs).
The Jays can also pitch, led by ace Aaron Sanchez (15-2, 3.00 ERA). But due to a heavy recent workload, Sanchez is expected to only take the mound once in the ALCS. The rest of Toronto’s rotation is solid, but not exactly flashy.
At the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, the line has Toronto at -140 and Cleveland +120.
That means a $100 wager on the Indians winning four more games will return the bettor $120. To net $100 on the Jays, a minimum bet of $140 is required.
Dodgers vs. Cubs
The Chicago Cubs haven’t won a World Series since 1908. If Vegas is correct, that will change in 2016.
According to most baseball analysts, the Cubs have the edge over the Dodgers in nearly every important category. Their starting pitching, bullpen, offense, and defense are statistically better than Los Angeles, but again, it’s October and anything can happen.
The Dodgers pitching staff is running on fumes after going five games against the Washington Nationals in the NL Division Series. They were forced to use ace Clayton Kershaw (12-4, 1.69 ERA) three times, which included entering the 9th inning in game five to save the season.
Chicago will send a series of lefties to the mound to start the majority of NLCS games, meaning the Dodgers will need to up its offensive production from the right side of the plate.
However, the Dodgers lineup is led by Corey Seager (.308 average), Adrian Gonzalez (.285 average), and veteran Chase Utley, all three who bat left-handed. Slugger Justin Turner (27 home runs, 90 RBIs) and Howie Kendrick (.255 average) will need to deliver base runners and runs if the Dodgers have any chance.
Westgate doesn’t have much confidence in the Dodgers. The books have the Cubs at -190 to Los Angeles at +170.
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