Bet 'Over' 7.5 for Tigers vs. Indians

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 12:11 PM UTC

Tuesday, May. 20, 2014 12:11 PM UTC

Justin Verlander has struggled at Progressive Field over the course of his career, which should lead to a high-scoring affair between the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians. What are the MLB betting odds for this AL Central matchup?

All good things come to an end 
Detroit had its 11-game road winning streak come to an end Monday, as it suffered a 5-4 extra-innings setback to Cleveland as +104 underdogs, while going 'over' the betting total for the first time in four contests. 

The Tigers have still won 19 of their last 26 games against the Indians, which includes a 5-1 mark in their last six affairs at this venue. MLB handicappers will find that the franchise is 4-2 as road favorites of -125 to -150 this season, with the 'over' going 3-2-1 in that situation.

Trying to put something together 
Cleveland enters the second game of this series with a 20-25 overall record, but it’s important to point out that the club was under .500 as late as June 17 a year ago (34-35). 

The Indians are 9.5 games back of the Tigers in the division standings, but they have a chance of cutting into that lead with the recent play of outfielder Michael Brantley, who is batting .410 with six home runs and 17 RBIs during a 16-game home hitting streak. 

Over the last two-plus seasons, the squad is a disappointing 7-15 as home underdogs of +125 to +150, with the 'under' going 14-7-1 in those 22 opportunities.

Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (5-2, 3.15 ERA) registered a 7-5 road victory over the Baltimore Orioles last time out, as he allowed five runs and six hits over six frames. The right-hander has gone 3-0 with a 4.33 ERA in four road outings—issuing 11 walks and striking out 23 batters in 27 combined innings. In 20 career starts at this venue, Verlander has compiled a 9-10 record and 5.26 ERA.

Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer (0-1, 1.50 ERA) will be called up to make his second appearance at the MLB level this season, as he suffered a 2-1 home defeat to the San Diego Padres on April 9. The right-hander has put together a 4-1 record and 2.15 ERA in seven starts at Triple-A Columbus in 2014—ranking eighth in the International League with 44 strikeouts. Bauer will be making his first career start versus the Tigers.

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their MLB picks, as the 'over' is 5-2 in Verlander’s last seven efforts as a road favorite of -110 to -150.

Free MLB Pick: 'Over' 7.5

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