Indians Beat Blue Jays 2-1 – Take 2-0 Series Lead

josh-tomlin-vs-blue-jaysThe Cleveland Indians had little trouble getting past the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS. But few gave them a chance against a rising Toronto Blue Jays team after injuries hit their starting pitching staff. Nevertheless, Cleveland now finds themselves up 2-0 in the ALCS.

For the second straight day, Cleveland shut down Toronto’s hitters en route to a 2-1 victory in Game 2. Starter Josh Tomlin turned in an inspired effort, allowing just 1 run and three hits over 5-plus innings. Middle reliever Andrew Miller struck out five of the six batters he threw against, and closer Cody Allen finished the Blue Jays in the ninth.

For the second consecutive game, the Indians could only muster two runs. But again, it was enough to beat a struggling Toronto lineup.

Shortstop Francisco Lindor supplied the offense when he hit a two-out RBI single in the third inning. Lindor was also the hero of Game 1, hitting a two-run homer in the Indian’s 2-0 Game 1 victory.

Action switches back to Toronto tomorrow night, where the Blue Jays hope that Rogers Centre is more kind to them than Progressive Field. Before we continue discussing this ALCS series, let’s look at the GTBets line for Game 3:

Game 3 of ALCS: Oct 17 at 8:05pm
Cleveland  +1.5 (-120); moneyline +168
Toronto  -1.5 (+100); moneyline -188

Breaking the Curse

Cleveland has had some strong teams over the past two decades, but they’ve failed to win a World Series title since 1948. So normally, fans would fear the worst, even with their Indians only 2 wins away from a World Series trip.

However, there’s reason for optimism, thanks to the Cleveland Cavaliers breaking the city’s title curse this year.

“Bringing that first championship to this city, we rallied around that,” said second baseman Jason Kipnis. “That’s going to be hard to beat, to break the curse. That being said – and it’s not just my opinion, it’s what I’ve gotten from people around Cleveland – the first Tribe or Browns championship has a little different ring to it.”

cleveland-toronto-blue-jaysAside from being fueled by the Cavs’ NBA championship, the Indians have provided reasons of their own to believe. Despite facing vaunted Boston and Toronto hitting lineups, Cleveland’s pitching has made them look silly in five postseason games.

The first result was a 3-0 sweep against Boston, and the Indians are currently on pace to sweep the Blue Jays.

A Review of Tomlin’s Performance

Game 2’s one-run pitching effort almost seems improbable.

Tomlin, who only started because Trevor Bauer sliced his pinkie open while fixing a drone, looked like a mere band-aid against Toronto. Topping out at only 89 mph with his fastball, Tomlin, as Kipnis put it, “had to work all 89 miles on that fastball.”

Rather than throwing a mediocre fastball into the teeth of the Blue Jays’ bats, Tomlin and catcher Roberto Perez came up with a plan to use curveballs over and over. This seemed like an effective strategy because the pitcher only threw 15 curveballs on 85 pitches the last time out against Toronto.

Tomlin used the strategy to perfection, keeping his curveballs low in the strike zone, leaving the Toronto batters reaching for many of them.

“The game kind of dictates what you do,” said Tomlin. “It’s going to be tough for me to sit there and throw 87, 88 all game long and be successful.”

Perez also called a good game, and Tomlin trusted him and drew motivation from his catcher’s words. One example was a big at-bat by Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion.

“Encarnacion is not going to beat us right here,” Perez told Tomlin during the game. “We’ve got to make pitches right now. Just follow me. Keep the ball down. And give me your best pitches.”

In 85 pitches, Tomlin produced 17 outs, with 10 coming on groundballs, six strikeouts, and one fly ball – an interesting ratio for a pitcher who has less than a 45% groundball rate. Tomlin was able to change his tendencies by throwing expert curveballs against a team that’s poor at hitting them.

Looking Ahead to Game 3

One of the best things for Cleveland is that they get an off-day for their overworked pitchers. Allen and Miller have pitched four times in the Indians’ five postseason games.

The results have been outstanding, with both combining to strike out 25 of the 38 batters they’ve faced. But both players also need a rest if they’re to keep up this strong pace.

“One of the things I’m most excited about tomorrow is Andrew Miller doesn’t have to throw any pitches,” said Kipnis. “Same with Cody Allen.”

Allen and Miller aren’t the only ones who could use the rest since there are other Cleveland heroes who’ve earned a break too. This includes Lindor, who, in addition to the offense, also saved a hit with a jump throw to first.

It seems like Toronto, who dispatched the Texas Rangers in three games, are due for a win now that they’re heading home. But with the way that Cleveland is playing, it’s tough to say whether home-field advantage will be enough for the Blue Jays.

GTBets Newsletter October 23, 2015

In this week’s GTBets news, we cover a division rivalry between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers, MLB Playoffs betting, a college football showdown between Cal and UCLA, and where you can play online blackjack.

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Seahawks vs. Niners Betting

The Seahawks (-6.5) and the 49ers (+6.5) have had a rough go of things so far this season, trailing the NFC West division at 2-4 after 6 weeks of play. But it’s Thursday night football, and we’re excited to see which team will emerge and attempt to revitalize their season!

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MLB Playoffs Betting

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Cal vs. UCLA Betting

Both #20 Cal (+3) and UCLA (-3) are coming off of tough losses last week to ranked teams Utah and Stanford, so they’ll be looking to get back on track with a “W” in this Thursday night’s game at 9pm ET on ESPN.

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GTBets Newsletter October 9, 2015

How would you like free points on NFL and college football wagers? Find out how to get your free points below.

You’ll also see news on the Colts and Texans matchup, MLB Playoffs betting, and how hockey season is here.

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NFL Betting: Colts at Texans Week 5

This week’s NFL match-up features two teams that desperately need a win. Andrew Luck and the Colts will head to Houston to take on JJ Watt and the Texans.

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MLB Playoffs Betting

The Astros and the Cubs have won the first two elimination games of the postseason, and now the divisional series’ will begin!

Today at 3:35PM ET the Rangers (200) will take on the Blue Jays (-230), and then at 7:35PM ET the Astros (126) will take on the Royals (-136)!

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Hockey Betting Is Back!!

The NHL regular season has begun and GT has all of your hockey needs covered! Moneylines, Pucklines, 3-way wagering, live action and more.

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GTBets Newsletter October 2, 2015

Some exciting things are going on at GTBets right now, with the addition of a new slot called 4th & Goal, and the start of the MLB postseason.

This week, we’ll also discuss a Week 4 matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens, along with an English Premier League contest between Manchester United and Arsenal.

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NFL Betting: Ravens at Steelers

Joe Flacco and the Ravens will travel to Pittsburgh to take on Big Ben and the Steelers in tonight’s Thursday match-up. Bet on this AFC North rivalry now, or during the game using our live betting platform.

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MLB Postseason Is Here!

The MLB Postseason begins next week, and we’ll have all of your postseason baseball wagering needs covered! Series odds, odds to win the World Series, live action on most games, and much more!

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English Premier League Betting: Man U at Arsenal

Manchester United will travel to Arsenal in this Sunday’s EPL featured fixture. Both teams compete for the Premier League Championship every year, so enjoy some quality soccer before the NFL games start this Sunday morning.

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4th & Goal – New Slot at GTBets!

4TH & GOAL has been added to our arsenal of terrific games in the Super Slots category. If you were a fan of the Tecmo-Bowl video game back in the day, then give 4th & Goal a spin!

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