LIVING

Toronto Blue Jays Hoping Home Games Will Change ALCS Luck

10/19/2015 06:39 EDT | Updated 10/19/2016 05:12 EDT
The Blue Jays have turned it around before. But can they do it again? And, can they do it again when there's more even more pressure and their opponent is the red-hot Kansas City Royals?

That's the question heading into Monday night's game at the Rogers Centre, which begins at 8:07 p.m. ET.

But while there are unknowns, there are two things you can be sure of: the stadium will be roaring and the Blue Jays will take the field full of confidence.

"We're a resilient team," second baseman Ryan Goins said after Saturday's crushing loss, when his defensive miscue led to Kansas City's big rally.

"The blame should go on me today," Goins said following Game 2.

Then, almost without blinking, the 27-year-old's focus snapped ahead to the next game.

"We're going to go to Toronto and try to make up three games."

Starting pitcher David Price, who set a Blue Jays post-season record for setting down 18 straight Royals hitters before the five-run seventh, had even more of a right to feel down after Game 2 after coming through with a strong performance.

"That's baseball," he said.

"Good things are going to happen. I know they are."

Pick any name on the lineup card and go and ask if they're nervous heading back to Toronto and the answer will be some variation of no.

Manager John Gibbons, who dismissed the merits of home field advantage before Game 1 in Kauffman Stadium, has happily changed his tune, now saying: "Our backs are up against the wall but it will be good to go back home where we normally play well."

The regular season series between the clubs backs this up: the Blue Jays lost a road series 2-1 in Kansas City and then went 3-1 against the Royals in Toronto.

Here's the most anxiety you'll see out of Gibbons: "It's a lot tougher from here but we've got a good team."

What to watch for in Game 3

There are plenty of reasons to think the Blue Jays will get back to their winning ways tonight:

- They'll be back at Rogers Centre, which may as well be called "Home Run Land" compared to Kansas City's gigantic Kaufmann Stadium.

- They'll send Marcus Stroman on the mound. While Stroman hasn't recorded a win yet, he's been dynamite in both of his playoff starts and clearly thrives in a high-stakes atmosphere.

- They'll be coming off a day of rest, which will hopefully help the nagging injuries felt by slugger Edwin Encarnacion and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

Kansas City, however, showed in the first two games of the series why they had the American League's best record this season. In Game 1 they shut down Toronto's bats. In Game 2, they found a way to grind down David Price.

Here's a list of nightmare scenarios for Blue Jays fans:

- Johnny Cueto will dominate. The Royals rent-an-ace pitcher shut down the Houston Astros in Game 5 to get Kansas City to this point and he truly is one of the league's elite starters.

- Kansas City will beat the Blue Jays bullpen, which has been weakened by the loss of Brett Cecil due to injury in the opening round.

- Kansas City will then beat the Jays with its bullpen. While Toronto threatened, there's a reason the team didn't score a single run in the last three innings of either game on the road.

Whatever happens in Game 3, expect the Blue Jays to play with a bit more anxiety in their system — whether they admit it or not. 

Also on HuffPost

Match Blue Jays vs Royals