2016 MLB Championship Series Preview

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Toronto Blue Jays vs. Cleveland Indians

Three of the Blue Jays best hitters all batted .417 or higher during the three games they played against the Texas Rangers. Josh Donaldson led the team with a .538 average, Troy Tulowitzki batted .462 and Edwin Encarnacion hit .417. The three of them combined for 3 HRs and 12 RBI. That’s why the Texas Rangers couldn’t win a single game against Toronto. The Blue Jays pitching wasn’t bad either. Only two of their pitchers they used had an ERA over 1.80. Everyone else was below that mark. Marco Estrada was a solid start in Game 1 and set the tone. He’ll have to do the same starting against Cleveland on the road in Game 1.Roberto Osuna is a rising star in the closers position and he should not be overlooked when Toronto has a lead late in the game.

Cleveland shocked most of the baseball world, including myself with their 3-game sweep of Boston. Their pitching had to be good and they were with Corey Kluber leading the way with his stellar Game 2 start going 7 innings with 7 strikeouts. Cody Allen saved the two games in which he played and Andrew Miller pitched 4 innings in two games striking out 7. Four batters hit .300 or better and one of them, Lonnie Chisenhall, drove in more runs than any other with his 4 RBI 3-game performance. More is to be expected from the likes of Mike Napoli and Carlos Santana to provide some pop in the lineup. However, the Indians are doing this playing small ball and running bases aggressively. That won’t change against Toronto.

Blue Jays in 6 games

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Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs

The Dodgers did just enough to get to the NLCS. Corey Seager got off to a good start but did fizzle toward the end of NLDS. If he can recreate that magic at the top of the lineup it will help give Justin Turner more opportunities to drive in runs. If they get more from Adrian Gonzalez then the Dodgers could be looking at a World Series appearance. Even though Clayton Kershaw didn’t pitch up to his potential, he did get the save in Game 5 of the NLDS. This pitching staff needs to be at their best against a deep Cubs lineup.

Chicago was three outs away from having to go back home and defeat the Giants in a game 5 winner take all. That didn’t happen as they came back down 3 runs in the ninth to beat the Giants. Aroldis Chapman was lights out for 3 saves in each of their wins. Don’t expect anything less from him if the Cubs get a lead. Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta were the best in the rotation. Whether they can get the same from Kyle Hendricks and John Lackey is another story. The young guns in the lineup; Wilson Contreras, Javier Baez and Kris Bryant all had big hits at big moments in the NLDS. The Cubs’ depth is so good that if these three continue like this they won’t a whole lot out of the rest of the roster. Two pitchers hit home runs for them.

Cubs in 6 games

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