Blue Jays series preview vs. Cleveland Indians- ALCS rematch

Oct 19, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (19) hits a double during the ninth inning against the Cleveland Indians in game five of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 19, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (19) hits a double during the ninth inning against the Cleveland Indians in game five of the 2016 ALCS playoff baseball series at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Toronto ended their six-game road trip with a series win over Tampa Bay. The Blue Jays now return home for a nine-game homestand at the Rogers Centre.

So far in the month of May, the Toronto Blue Jays (11-20) are 3-3 and sit 9.5 games back of first place in the American League East. The Blue Jays will welcome the Cleveland Indians (17-13) for a three-game series starting Monday night.

Not only is this a rematch of last season’s American League Championship Series, but it marks the return of former Blue Jay Edwin Encarnacion.

Encarnacion was the beloved fan favourite who was a power-hitting force for the Blue Jays during his seven seasons in Toronto. Fans attending the games should show their appreciation for all of his efforts during his time as a Blue Jay.

He deserves a warm welcome back, but no so much to Paul Kinzer.

What You Need To Know

TV: Sportsnet One

Radio: Sportsnet 590 The Fan

Probable Starters

Monday, May 8 7:07 p.m. ET

RHP Marcus Stroman (2-2 3.89 ERA) vs. Trevor Bauer (2-3, 7.67 ERA)

Stroman will look to rebound from Wednesday’s start in the Bronx after leaving the game with armpit tightness. The 26-year old has a 3.52 ERA in two starts against Cleveland.

Bauer is coming off extra rest after a rough outing last week against the Detroit Tigers. He was the same pitcher who pitched with a bloody finger in Game Three of the ALCS after cutting it during a drone accident.

Tuesday, April 9 7:07 p.m. ET

TBA vs. RHP Carlos Carrasco (3-2, 2.18 ERA)

The Blue Jays have yet to announce Tuesday’s starter.

Carrasco has been Cleveland’s best pitcher of late. Carrasco has allowed five earned runs in his last three starts while striking out 20 batters. He also pitched a combined 16 innings in two of those three starts.

Wednesday, May 10, 7:07 p.m. ET

LHP Francisco Liriano (2-3, 4.44 ERA) vs. Danny Salazar (2-3, 4.28 ERA)

Liriano lasted 3.2 innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits at Tropicana Field on Friday. Two of his bad outings have come against the Rays. Though, Liriano has been efficient outside of those starts. Allowing five earned runs from starts through April 13-29.

Salazar has been inconsistent this season. He’s struck out 49 batters, but his ERA is 4.28 as he has allowed 12 earned runs in his last five starts.

More from Toronto Blue Jays News

Players To Watch

The newest Blue Jay against the former Blue Jay.

It’s Kendrys Morales against Encarnacion. So far this season Morales is (.254 AVG/.726 OPS/.449 SLG/.362 OBP) with six home runs, 20 RBI, and 26 strikeouts.

On the other hand, Encarnacion is (.214 AVG/.723 OPS/.379 SLG/.344 OBP) with five home runs, 11 RBI, one stolen base and 39 strikeouts.

Morales has the upper hand against Encarnacion. The comparisons between both sluggers will continue onward after the series wraps up on Wednesday.

Player Injuries

Toronto

3B Josh Donaldson (10-day DL strained right calf)

LHP J.A. Happ (10-day DL left elbow inflammation)

OF Dalton Pompey (60-day DL concussion)

RHP Aaron Sanchez (10-day DL right middle finger blister)

RHP Bo Schultz (60-day DL torn right UCL- out for season)

RHP Glenn Sparkman (60-day DL fractured right thumb)

SS Troy Tulowitzki (10-day DL strained right hamstring)

Cleveland

RHP Cody Anderson (60-day DL right elbow surgery, out for season)

CF Austin Jackson (10-day DL hyperextended big toe)

RHP Corey Kluber (10-day DL lower back strain)

Next: Blue Jays’ Aaron Sanchez throws in a bullpen session

Cleveland may have knocked out Toronto from the ALCS and won the season series, but the Blue Jays currently lead the all-time series 203-201. They will look to build off that this week before the Seattle Mariners come to town for a four-game series.

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