Bats Be Busy In Tigers-Indians Series Opener

Willie Bee

Friday, April 14, 2017 2:36 PM UTC

Friday, Apr. 14, 2017 2:36 PM UTC

In a bit of a rut the past week, the Cleveland Indians look to turn things around as favorites on the MLB odds in their series opener against the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.

MLB Season Record: 1-9 (-8.65)

A weekend series between last year's American League champions and one of the teams they're chasing early in their division race? Yes, please, especially since it's one of the oldest rivalries in the Junior Circuit.

Heading out on their first prolonged road trip of the young campaign, the Detroit Tigers stop in Cleveland for a 3-game set against the Indians. First pitch is 7:10 PM (ET) Friday, and the initial mound duel is between a couple of young hurlers as Daniel Norris takes the ball for the Tigers opposite Cleveland's Trevor Bauer who is -146 at BetOnline with 8½ for the total.

Detroit is tied with Minnesota atop the AL Central after dropping a game to the Twins on Thursday. Still, it was a successful homestand taking 5 of 7 from the Red Sox and Twins. The Indians wrapped up a set with the White Sox on Thursday with a lopsided defeat and have dropped a game under .500 by losing five of their last six, each setback as chalk on the MLB odds.


Both Pitchers After 1st Wins Of '17

Working into the sixth at home vs. the Red Sox this past Sunday, Norris left with the game knotted only for Detroit relievers to fall apart in a 7-5 loss to Boston. His 2016 campaign abbreviated by injuries, the southpaw performed better away from Comerica with the 23-year-old pitching to a 2.81 ERA in six starts and a relief outing. Two of those starts came in Cleveland, the Tigers splitting the contests while Norris posted a 3.86 ERA.

Bauer was banged around by his former team in Arizona last week, taking the loss with 5.2 innings and four runs plated by the Diamondbacks. Detroit has also feasted on the former UCLA standout the past few seasons, batting a robust .320 against him with nine homers among 66 hits in a little under 50 innings. Bauer will be happy not to see JD Martinez (injured) in the lineup tonight, the Tigers outfielder raking for a .409 average (9-22) with a home run.


Series Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

The first of four series between now and the All-Star break, the Indians look to repeat the dominance they enjoyed over the Tigers a year ago and extend their overall dominance of Detroit at The Jake (112-80, .583). Cleveland won 14 of the 18 games (one matchup canceled and never made up) the clubs played, taking the first 11 clashes with two sweeps in Motown and another at home. Seven of the nine played in Cleveland went 'over' the totals.

Temps in the upper 50s, mostly clear skies and a light NE breeze (in from center) is the weather forecast. My free baseball pick forecast is both lineups cracking on the pitchers early enough to send this one 'over' before we get to the late innings.

MLB Free Pick: 'Over' 8.5Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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