Betting ‘Under’ Total Is Smart Call for Indians-Tigers May 3 Matchup

miguel cabrera tigers

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 7:44 PM GMT

The Cleveland Indians are underachieving a bit thus far in the AL Central, but I believe they will start to pull away sooner or later. The Tribe visit their likely top challengers in the division, the Tigers, on Wednesday (7:10 p.m. ET) in Game 3 of a series.

MLB Season Record: 10-5

Cleveland Indians At Detroit Tigers (+153, 8)

Cleveland is in Motown for Game 3 of a series on Wednesday night. The Tribe were one of the better offensive teams in April in ranking seventh in the majors in runs (4.9) and OPS (.757). My MLB pick back in March for American League MVP this year was Tribe shortstop Francisco Lindor. He was hitting .306 with seven homers, 17 RBIs and a .375 on-base percentage entering Tuesday. Lindor, just 23, didn’t hit his seventh homer last season until mid-June.

While the offense is Top 10 in most categories, the pitching staff has moderately disappointed with an ERA that was 17th as of Tuesday and an opponents’ batting average of .249 that was 18th. Starters Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin have been gas cans. The Tribe have been a good ‘under’ pick thus far, though, with a percentage of 60.9 of their games going under.

The Tigers haven’t been whole yet this season because outfielder J.D. Martinez has yet to debut. He suffered a sprained Lisfranc ligament in his right foot in late March. Martinez is inching toward a return, although he fouled a ball off his left foot in an extended spring training game Monday. Double good news there as it wasn’t the left foot and X-rays were negative. Martinez hit .307 with 22 home runs and 68 RBIs in 120 games last season, also missing time because of a fractured elbow. He’s a potential trade candidate later this summer if the Tigers aren’t in playoff contention as Martinez will become a free agent at the end of this season. Detroit likely won’t be able afford to re-sign him and needs prospect for a barren farm system.

Detroit did get good news Tuesday as former AL MVP and Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera returned from only the second disabled list stint of his career (groin). The Tigers optioned catcher/first baseman John Hicks to Triple-A in a corresponding move. Hicks is usually a catcher but pressed into duty as a first baseman with Cabrera out and hit .423 (11-for-26) with three doubles, a home run and seven RBIs. Detroit was 4-4 without Cabrera, who is hitting .267 with four homers and 11 RBIs after doing deep Tuesday. Cabrera's groin did tighten during the game but he expects to be in there Wednesday. 

 Wednesday’s Probable Pitchers

Cleveland’s best starting pitcher thus far has been right-hander Carlos Carrasco, who gets the call here. Carrasco leads the team with a 2.04 ERA and 0.79 WHIP but is only 2-2 because the Indians have just 12 runs in his five outings this season.

Carrasco has worked eight innings in back-to-back starts, allowing a combined three runs and nine hits with 15 strikeouts vs. the Mariners and White Sox. He lost at home to Detroit on April 16 in giving up two runs and four hits in 6.2 innings. Carrasco was unusually wild with five walks. It was his first appearance against Detroit since his right hand was broken by Ian Kinsler's line drive last September. Carrasco wasn’t able to pitch in the postseason because of that.

Cabrera is a career .294 hitter off him Carrasco a homer and nine strikeouts in 34 at-bats. Kinsles is 8-for-34 with three doubles and three RBIs. Justin Upton is 2-for-12 with a HR and five strikeouts.

The Tigers go with lefty Matthew Boyd (2-1, 3.86). He pitched a season-high seven innings last time out and allowed three earned and two homers in a no-decision to the White Sox.  Boyd was opposite Carrasco on April 16 and gave up one run over six innings in the 4-1 victory. Edwin Encarnacion has seen Boyd more than any Indian, going 3-for-10 with a double. Lindor has three singles in five at-bats. No current Cleveland player has homered off Boyd.

The ‘under’ has hit in all five Carrasco starts this season and is 10-2 in his past 12 on the road. The ‘under’ is 5-1 in Boyd’s past six on four days of rest. We have been killing it on totals this season with five straight wins so the ‘under’ is the call on MLB odds. It opened at 8.5 and here’s hoping it climbs back there.

Free MLB Pick: ‘Under’ 8Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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