Cardinals are one of the best teams in MLB having rolled to a 23-9 overall record. Tonight they’ll be up against Kluber & the Indians as they try to cash on the MLB odds and improve their record.
The St. Louis Cardinals Can Win Because…
According to the MLB betting odds at WagerWeb, St. Louis is a +123 money line road team, and the posted total is 7.5, Cardinals are the much better team than the Indians. Cast aside the starting pitching matchup for a second. These are just very different teams with very different profiles. The Cardinals are 11 games better than Cleveland after just a little more than a month of baseball. In terms of season-long projections, the Cardinals are on pace to win well over 110 games, while the Indians are on pace to lose over 100 games. These specific trends might not be sustainable, but St. Louis is clearly a far better team. That much can already be established. Cleveland was supposed to be a much stronger team this season and a legitimate American League Central Division contender because of improved starting pitching. However, staff ace Corey Kluber has been awful to this point in the season. With Kluber being such a total bust, this has put pressure on the other starters to be better, and they really haven’t handled things very well. Kluber, though, is the starter in this game, and his ERA of 5.04 sticks out like a sore thumb. Kluber has given up at least five runs in each of his last four starts. He’s been tagged, period.
The Indians have allowed 161 runs through Tuesday’s games, which is not only tied for third worst in the American League, but is only four runs better than the worst team in the A.L. The pitching has really fallen through the bottom for the Tribe, and that’s why they have a negative-24-run differential. St. Louis, on the other hand, has a positive-52-run differential. That’s a 76-run differential between the two teams, a huge margin this early in the season. It would be a significant difference later in the season.
St. Louis starter John Lackey has a solid 3.20 ERA so far this season. His ERA against Cleveland last year was a decent 3.68.
The Cleveland Indians Can Win Because…
The reigning Cy Young Award winner in the American League has to get better at some point, right? It’s worth noting, when you look at Kluber’s starts this season, that while he’s been terrible in his last four starts, he was really good in his first three starts. He went 7 1/3 innings against Houston on April 6 and allowed only two runs. He went 6 1/3 innings against Detroit on April 11 and allowed only two runs. He went eight innings against Minnesota on April 17 and allowed only two runs. Kluber can quickly get back on the beam and restore order. That would get the Indians a win, and maybe a boost for the rest of the season.
It’s hard to trust Kluber until he figures things out. Opponents are batting .342 against him at home and he has a lousy 1.74 WHIP in front of the home audience. That’s why the Cardinals are the better choice for your MLB picks here.
MLB Pick: St. Louis +119 at WagerWeb