David Huff has been fabulous since entering the Indians rotation, and he now appears mature enough to fulfill his potential. With Doug Fister not looking good in a Tigers uniform, take the Tribe.
Look for a nice upset on the MLB odds Saturday night when David Huff and the Cleveland Indians (62-59 overall, 29-34 away) pay another visit to Doug Fister and the Detroit Tigers (66-58 overall, 35-27 home) in the second game of a crucial three-game weekend series from Comerica Park in Detroit, MI at 7:05 ET.
The Tigers drew first blood in this series on Friday 4-1 as Max Scherzer out-dueled Josh Tomlin, enabling the Tigers to open up a 2½ game lead over the second place Indians in the American League Central Division, with the Chicago White Sox still in with a chance in third place five games out.
Winning the AL Central is crucial this season since no team from this division will make the playoffs as a wild card. So with that in mind, the next two games are the two biggest games of the season so far for the Indians, as they do not want to lose contact with the Tigers in the standings.
The Tribe do appear to have the pitching edge in this game, so we are looking for the Indians to even this series at a nice underdog price Saturday to help keep their hopes alive.
The current odds from Pinnacle Sports have Cleveland at a nice +133 for this contest.
The southpaw Huff has been a godsend since entering the Cleveland rotation, and his great pitching has now earned him a prolonged spot in the rotation as he is taking Carlos Carrasco’s spot for the time being with Carrasco now on the Disabled List. If Huff keeps pitching like he has in his first three starts this year, he should have his own permanent spot in the rotation the rest of the year.
Huff, who will turn 27-years-old on Monday, showed glimpses of brilliance in his rookie season of 2009, but he regressed badly last season and had been in the minors since until being called to to start July 18 vs. the Minnesota Twins.
Apparently, Huff has matured during his stint in the minors, and he is pitching like someone that wants to remain at the big league level. He has allowed a grand total of one earned run on 14 hits and four walks with 15 strikeouts in 17.2 innings since his recall, translating to a 0.51 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP and a .209 opposing batting average against!
Now is Huff really as good as those numbers? We would say probably not, but he is now at the age where he should be starting to peak, and after perhaps getting rushed up to the majors too quickly a couple of years ago, he should continue to pitch well for the rest of this season and for many more years to come.
As for Doug Fister, he has been a disappointment since coming over from the Mariners at the trading deadline, and his last start last Sunday vs. the Orioles in Baltimore was probably the worst start of his career, as he surrendered eight runs on 12 hits while lasting only 5.2 innings.
Now we get that Fister’s 3-12 record with Seattle was deceptive, which should have been made obvious by his 3.39 ERA with them, but perhaps he was more relaxed while pitching for an also-ran and is now feeling the pressure while being suddenly thrust into a pennant race for the first time in his career. He has definitely been a different pitcher in a Detroit uniform, with a 6.14 ERA and a disgusting 1.70 WHIP in 14.2 innings.
Whatever the reason, Huff has clearly been the superior pitcher in recent starts, and he gives the Indians nice value at this price.
MLB Pick: Indians +133