This matchup highlights the fallacies of using the W-L record to handicap games as we have two fantastic pitchers with losing records meeting on Tuesday night in Cleveland.
Mariners vs. Indians
Two teams with slumping offenses meet in Cleveland on Tuesday night, as the Indians host the Seattle Mariners in a best of three. It’s going to be even harder to get people to the ballpark with the Cavaliers set to host game 3 of the NBA Finals, but Cleveland ace Corey Kluber is worth a ticket to watch. With their ace on the mound, Cleveland opened as heavy money line favorites at 5Dimes at -175. With Seattle Mariner hurler Roenis Elias also pitching well the O/U total opened at 7 runs. That total may seem low with the expected weather pattern of wind blowing towards the outfield at 10-15 MPH, but with each team scoring 3 or less runs in 12 of their 13 combined June games it is to be expected.
2014 Cy Young winner Corey Kluber has pitched well this season but doesn’t have much to show for it. He sports one of the highest differences in fielding adjusted ERA’s in the league, with an ERA of 3.61 and FIP of 2.23. Without the effect of his poor defense Kluber is actually pitching better than he did last year. Kluber is striking out batters at the highest clip of his career, and his 11.16 K/9 rate leads a Cleveland staff that has the highest K/9 rate in all of baseball at 10.19. The poor defense has also created an ERA and FIP difference in the entire staff of historic proportions. The entire Cleveland staff has an ERA of 4.40 right now against a FIP of 3.38, a difference of over one run per game.
The Indians have taken notice to what the numbers have told us and demoted both their starting 3B, Lonnie Chisenhall, and SS, Jose Ramirez on Sunday. The both of the have struggled defensively all season and haven’t hit enough to make up for it. Getting the call to make his MLB debut in place of Chisenhall at 3B is one of Cleveland’s top prospects, Giovanny Ursheala, who has exhibited stellar defense so far in his minor league career. At shortstop, it’s a crapshoot between recently called up Zach Walters and veteran Mike Aviles on who will get the lion’s share of starts at the position.
On the other side of the diamond, the only game that Roenis Elias has given up more than three runs in his last 8 starts is to the Indians on May 29th. In that game at Safeco he gave up 4 runs over 5.1 IP while giving up five hits. Walks were a problem in that game as Elias had 4 of them, the most he has had in his last ten starts. Otherwise, Elias is posting fine numbers this year, with a 2.94 ERA, 40/17 K/BB rate, and 1.25 WHIP. His 2-3 record is indicative of poor run support if anything. Speaking of run support, Elias has a streak of 10 games where the Mariners have not scored more than 4 runs. In addition to this, in any of his last ten games the total has not reached more than seven runs.
MLB Betting Verdict
With two pitchers at the top of their game, at least statistically, it is hard to pick a side here with what should be a close game on tap. For this reason, either the run line with a team getting +1.5 or the under is the play. Seattle is getting +1.5 at -135 at Pinnacle, and although that seems like good value, I’m finding it hard to trust this team at the moment. I’m betting under the MLB odds total of 7 runs in this contest on Tuesday as the pitchers should rule this game and my MLB pick.
MLB Picks: Under 7 at betOnline