MLB Free Pick: Gray & Kluber Live Up to Hype in Yankees-Indians Opener

Willie Bee

Thursday, August 3, 2017 12:55 PM UTC

Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017 12:55 PM UTC

A long Yankees-Indians weekend set in Cleveland opens with an outstanding pitching matchup Thursday, and we have a free MLB pick for the showdown between Sonny Gray and Corey Kluber.

MLB Season Record: 53-58-3 (-3.52)

The New York Yankees will use their long weekend set at Cleveland to showcase the newest arms they acquired at the trade deadline. First up in Thursday’s series opener (7:10 PM ET) is the centerpiece of those trades, Sonny Gray (6-5, 3.43), who cost New York three top prospects. He’ll be opposed by Corey Kluber (8-3, 2.90) of the Indians, 5Dimes selling Cleveland for -130 with 8½ for the total.

New York just lost the AL East lead with setbacks in three of its last four games, and now begins a week-long road trip with the next stop in Toronto. Cleveland has also hit a snag with three consecutive losses, but continues to hold the top spot in the AL Central by 2½ games over Kansas City.


Kluber Has Owned Yankees Recently

Gray will have some extra rest under his belt when he takes the mound in Cleveland tonight, his last appearance coming July 25 for the Athletics. He won three of his final four starts for Oakland, and could’ve won his final six with a little help from his offense and defense. The most profitable way to play the MLB odds in his starts this season has been the ‘over,’ 11 of his 16 trips to the hill going that direction. Gray is 2-1 with a 3.93 ERA in four career assignments at Progressive Field.

For as well as he’s pitched, Kluber has been a losing proposition for bettors this year, the Tribe 10-7 when he takes the mound and down nearly 5 units. Most of that red ink came in two pre-All Star losses to the Twins and Padres when Cleveland was chalked around -300 only to lose despite Kluber combining for 15 innings and only one earned run allowed. He has been money his last three starts against the Yanks, however, winning all three while posting a 0.82 ERA.


Rivalry Trends, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

It has been almost exactly a year since these clubs met, and they’ve traded their last two season series with each other by taking 5 of 7. The Yankees have made themselves right at home at Jacobs/Progressive Field, winning 62 of the 102 games played between the rivals here, eight of those contests taking place in the postseason. Four of the last five games played in Cleveland went ‘over’ the totals, the fifth pushing a 9-run mark.

Rain pops up in the afternoon forecast, and could affect the start of tonight’s game before moving out of the area. I believe this matchup on the mound will live up to the hype, making the ‘under’ my free baseball pick.

Free MLB Pick: 'Under' -8½ (-110)Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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