The Cleveland Indians and Seattle Mariners are both part of the large middle group of American League teams near the .500 mark. Who’ll cash in this MLB betting matchup?
The Cleveland Indians Can Win Because…
They have their ace on the hill, and he’s pitching like an ace, in more than just one game here or there. Corey Kluber had a 5.04 ERA on May 7, and was seeing his season go down in flames. Then he rebounded. He went eight innings against St. Louis on May 13, giving up no runs on just one hit and no walks while striking out 18. On May 18 against the Chicago White Sox, he pitched a complete game, going all nine innings and allowing one run on five hits with one walk. He struck out 12. Kluber then went to the bump on May 23 against Cincinnati, going eight complete and allowing only one run with no walks and seven strikeouts. He’s become the Cy Young Award pitcher we saw all of last season. His ERA is down to 3.49, more than one and a half runs since May 7, his low point. The Seattle Mariners’ offense has been quite inconsistent this season. The Mariners probably do not deserve the benefit of the doubt when going up against Kluber and the Indians. If you were to question Kluber, the time was right on May 7 or even in the first week after his nadir. Now, though, Kluber has established a consistent pattern of excellence, and that’s too much to distrust at this point.
The Seattle Mariners Can Win Because…
They have a very solid pitcher whose ERA numbers are similar to Kluber’s, and whose recent starts have been extremely good. James Paxton has a 3.52 ERA, right there with Kluber. In his last five starts, he has not given up more than two runs. He pitched two partial shutouts in separate starts, one of them being an eight-inning outing. Paxton’s overall totals in his last five starts: 34 innings, six total runs allowed, 21 hits. That’s excellent, and if Kluber is not right on top of his game, Paxton can and will outduel him.
The other thing you have to keep in mind with Seattle is that some of its supporting players are picking up the pace, none more so than Kyle Seager. While Nelson Cruz has been the team’s best pure hitter and overall power hitter this season, Robinson Cano and Seager are badly needed if this team wants to get to the playoffs. Seager has been heating up of late. In a game against Tampa Bay earlier this week, he hit a go-ahead grand slam in the top of the eighth inning, and then after the bullpen blew the lead in the bottom of the ninth, Seager hit a homer in the tenth to win it. If Seager stays hot, Seattle becomes a much better team.
Seager’s hot streak doesn’t mean as much as Kluber’s reawakening. It seems that a lot of people agree as the MLB odds opened Cleveland -120 and have quickly moved up. Trust Kluber to get the job done, and add Cleveland as your MLB pick.
MLB Pick: Cleveland -123 at The Greek