Behind Carrasco, Tribe to Keep Rolling at Orioles’ Expense Wednesday

carlos carrasco

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 7:04 PM GMT

It’s two playoff teams from last year that are headed in very opposite directions currently as the Cleveland Indians play Game 3 of a four-game set at the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday (7:05 p.m. ET).

MLB Season Record: 22-17

Cleveland Indians At Baltimore Orioles (+144, 10.5)

It’s the only visit of the season for Cleveland to Camden Yards, and the Tribe & Orioles play the third game of a four-game set Wednesday with a first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. ET.

The Indians were widely expected to repeat as AL Central champions this season and they are finally starting to play to the level of last year’s pennant winners. After a 12-0 rout of the Orioles in Game 1, the Tribe entered Tuesday on a six-game winning streak and had scored 52 runs in those games, the first time since 2013 that the Indians had scored 50-plus runs over the course of a six-game winning streak.

Big offseason free-agent pickup Edwin Encarnacion got off to a slow start but he’s raking now. On May 15, Encarnacion was hitting just .198 with five homers. Now as of Tuesday, he’s up to .261 with 16 homers. He also got career hit No. 1,500 on Monday. The Tribe are without former All-Star outfielder Michael Brantley this week, as after coming off the paternity list he was put on the 10-day DL with a right ankle sprain. The Tribe are heavy -600 AL Central favorites on MLB futures. They are +350 second-favorites to Houston (+260) for the pennant.

The Orioles were 31-26 following a win over Pittsburgh on June 7 but have just three victories since to slide into last place in the AL East. The big problem is pitching. Monday was the Orioles’ 16th straight game allowing five runs or more, an AL record. The MLB record is 20 straight games, set in 1924 by the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Birds badly miss All-Star closer Zach Britton, who has pitched in only eight games this season due to a forearm injury. He is expected to start a rehab assignment this week and could return by early next month. Other than Dylan Bundy and Wade Miley for a little while, the rotation has been terrible. Kevin Gausman, Ubaldo Jimenez and Chris Tillman (started Tuesday) all have ERAs over 6.00. Baltimore is last in the majors in ERA and only Reds starters have a worse number.

You hear some scuttlebutt that Manager Buck Showalter could be in trouble. In addition, the O’s got more bad news this week when shortstop J.J. Hardy was ruled out 4-6 weeks with a fractured wrist.

 

Wednesday’s Probable Pitchers

Cleveland’s best overall starter this season has been right-hander Carlos Carrasco (7-3, 3.21), and he’s on the hill. He leads the starters in wins, ERA and WHIP (1.01). Carrasco beat the Twins in his last start, allowing one run and four hits over 6.1 innings with six strikeouts. Carrasco has allowed only 60 hits (but nine homers) in 81 1/3 innings. His FIP of 3.69 is Top 20 in the majors. He has given up two runs or less in nine of his 13 starts.

Carrasco hasn’t faced the Orioles since 2015. Hardy had faced him more than any Baltimore batter. Adam Jones is 1-for-2 career vs. Carrasco with a homer. Manny Machado is 2-for-3. Mark Trumbo 1-for-6.

The worst ERA among qualified starters in the American League belongs to Baltimore’s Kevin Gausman (3-6, 6.60). This month alone, he’s 0-2 with a 9.19 ERA in 15.2 innings. He has allowed a whopping 107 hits with 37 walks in 75 innings overall for a WHIP of 1.92 and opponents’ batting average of .338. Gausman is a fly-ball pitcher and that’s not a good thing in the bandbox that is Camden Yards.

Gausman beat the Tribe in his lone start against them last year, going seven shutout innings. Encarnacion is 1-for-16 off him with a homer and five Ks. Jason Kipnis is 2-for-7. Carlos Santana 2-for-4 with three walks.

 

Reasoning For Pick

Carrasco is 5-1 with a 2.89 ERA on the road this season and opponents are hitting just .190 off him away from home. Gausman is 2-2 with a 5.09 ERA at home with batters hitting .324. The Birds are 2-6 in his past eight overall vs. teams with a winning record. Cleveland is the clear MLB pick here.

Free MLB Pick: Indians -154Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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