Kluber, Tribe Send Astros Home on Losing Note

corey kluber

Willie Bee

Thursday, April 27, 2017 1:06 PM GMT

Will the weather cooperate enough in Cleveland to get Thursday's series finale between the Astros and Indians in? Join us for a preview and free MLB pick as two division leaders collide.

MLB Season Record: 7-15 (-8.87)

Weather has wreaked havoc on a lot of baseball action this week, forcing several postponements already, and it looks like it might mess with Thursday's series finale in Cleveland between the Indians and Houston Astros. First pitch is supposed to be delivered at 6:10 PM (ET) by Corey Kluber with Mike Fiers on the hill for Houston, and it's Cleveland chalked on a -168 money line at BetOnline with 8½ for the total.

The teams split the first two, Dallas Keuchel getting the Astros off to a winning note with a complete-game effort in Tuesday's 4-2 final, Houston closing as short road chalk on the MLB odds. The Indians were light chalk Wednesday and followed through with a 7-6 victory.  Tonight concludes a road trip for the Astros, who lead the AL West by four games over the A's and Angels. Cleveland is part of a 3-way tie at the top of the AL Central and will entertain the Mariners over the weekend.

 

Fiers Has Won Both Career Starts Vs. Tribe

Fiers' best effort came in his season debut at home against the Royals. It turned out to be the only start either he or the Astros have lost, two subsequent road assignments resulting in Houston wins despite the righty allowing eight runs in nine innings. Of particular concern is six homers allowed in 15 innings so far. He has done well in his two opportunities against the Indians, however, posting a victory in each start (12 IP, 3 ER).

Kluber went the distance with a 3-hit shutout at the White Sox his last time out, striking out a season-high nine as Cleveland won for the third time in four tries behind its ace. The former Stetson star had been very tough on Houston before 2016, going 4-1 in four starts and a relief outing while posting a 1.48 ERA, but the Astros beat Kluber twice last season with nine runs in 9.2 IP.

 

Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

Crew chief Dale Scott has been absent for the first two games with Stu Scheurwater filling in. Not sure when Scott will return, but assuming he doesn't come back this evening and interrupt the current umpire rotation, Jim Reynolds will call balls and strikes. His two plate assignments this season split the totals, home favorites winning each time.

There's a good chance the start of this game gets delayed with rain very likely in Cleveland during the 3-7 p.m. range. Not only is it supposed to be wet, but it's always going to be windy with a westerly blow from 15-20 mph (out to right). I am loving Kluber against the Houston lineup, so much so that I'm playing Cleveland on the run line for my free baseball pick.

Free MLB Pick: Indians -1½ (+120) On RLBest Line Offered: 5Dimes

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