L.A. Dodgers vs Cleveland Indians Odds & Free Picks

Doug Upstone

Thursday, June 15, 2017 12:49 PM UTC

Thursday, Jun. 15, 2017 12:49 PM UTC

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been rolling for some time now, while the defending American League champions Cleveland Indians are stuck in neutral and hanging around the .500 mark.

Today's early 12:10 pm Eastern start will wrap up this series near the shores of Lake Erie, with L.A. heading south to Cincinnati next and the Tribe going to Minnesota to start a road trip.

The MLB odds have the Dodgers in the role of favorites, thus, let's break down this Thursday conflict.


Pitching Matchup - Hill vs. Tomlin

It almost feels like a record, Rich Hill (3-2, 3.77 ERA) will be making his fifth successive start and he has not had to come out a game with a blister. If you see how Hill grips the ball with his left-hand, it is easy to understand why he has a continual issue. However, if he had not figured out how to pitch this way, he would have never made it back to the majors. Hill is a curveball specialist, varying the speed and angle of how he throws the pitch, however, his 21 walks in 31 innings negate his .224 batting average allowed.

Josh Tomlin (3-8, 5.73) is a back of the rotation guy and has provided a mix of good and mediocre seasons for Cleveland. Now at age 32, this year has been the latter. At times, it seems like Tomlin has taken the mound and not found one pitch to retire the opposing batters in any matter. He's being rocked for a .313 batting average (.268 lifetime) and it's been his inability to spot pitches low in the strike zone which had killed him. With the way the Dodgers have been swinging the lumber, this could get ugly.


Why Los Angeles is Better Offensively than Cleveland

Statistically, these teams have a lot of offensive similarities. They have comparable numbers in home runs, batting average and slugging percent in the majors. One visible difference and a chunk of why Los Angeles averages a 0.50 more runs per game than Cleveland is the advantage they have in on-base percentage.

Here we find the Dodgers at .332 (as of 6/14) and the Indians at .319. For this difference, there is a direct correlation between the number of walks each team has received, with L.A. far more patient. While Kansas City went to the World Series twice with low walk totals, they also did not strikeout much and now that they are, the lack of base-runners is more important. Edge to the Dodgers in that category.


Betting Odds and Bullpen Numbers

Los Angeles was sent out as -126 away favorite with a total of 10. The high total is a potential reflection of the starting pitches because the Dodgers and Indians have the two best bullpens in baseball.


The Winner Is......

When making MLB picks, you always hear about value. Hill does a good job staying out of trouble and though Tomlin is having a rough go overall, he's been improving lately. Both starters have tremendous bullpens that "turn out the lights". When I consider Hill 35-16 UNDER in his career and the Tribe is 18-7 UNDER versus lefty starters, the total of 9.5 is an inviting wager.

 Free MLB Pick: Under 9.5Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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