Look at the Vegas odds for Wednesday's Game 5 between Texas and Toronto, and the Blue Jays are a massive favorite.
On the surface, that's not too surprising. But when you consider how baseball odds are determined — heavily by pitching matchup — it's a bit surprising.
The Rangers have a massive pitching advantage in the decisive game, as they'll trot former NLCS and World Series MVP Cole Hamels out to the mound to square off against youngster Marcus Stroman, who took a no-decision in the Rangers' Game 2 win after he worked seven innings in the 14-inning game.
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Hamels has a career postseason ERA of 3.05 in 14 starts and was the MVP of the NLCS and World Series in 2008 for the Phillies. He has been on this stage before, and it's nothing to him.
Stroman is 24 years old and will be making his sixth start of the year after missing much of the season after suffering a torn ACL in spring training. He has great stuff, but he pitches with a lot of emotion, and he makes no bones about that, wearing it instead as a badge of honor.
Pitching with emotion at this time of year isn't the best thing, and when he started Game 2 last week, the Rangers were able to get to him early on because he was too amped up. How do you think he'll be in a winner-take-all Game 5 start?
While Stroman is screaming and pitching with that edge, Hamels will be cool, calm and collected.
Not saying the Rangers will win this game, but if they lose it, it most likely won't be because of Hamels. If the Blue Jays lose, it'll almost certainly be on Stroman's shoulders.