Baltimore’s Miguel Gonzalez (5-3, 3.75 ERA) facing Cleveland’s Corey Kluber (6-4, 3.68 ERA). Cleveland moved to a 6-2 mark in its last eight games with Wednesday’s 4-3 victory, but will the cashing continue in this finale?
Indians, Stubbs rally in ninth
Cleveland’s Jason Kipnis cracked his 11th homer in Wednesday’s victory, giving his club a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning. The Indians then allowed a stretch of three runs, but surged ahead in the ninth inning with tying and go-ahead RBIs from Lonnie Chisenhall and Drew Stubbs, respectively.
Orioles mates Nick Markakis and Chris Davis drove in one run each, despite finishing a combined 0-for-7. Baltimore’s Manny Machado poked a double as part of a 2-for-4 night, while Adam Jones left three men on base in a 0-for-4 night.
Indians reliever Joe Smith picked up his staff’s win, while closer Vinnie Pestano logged his fifth save with two strikeouts in the ninth inning. The battle’s seven runs dipped below the ‘total’ of 9 ½, moving the UNDER to 3-0 in the series.
Gonzalez outdueled in Toronto
Gonzalez saw a streak of three wins end with Saturday’s 4-2 loss for Baltimore as a 112 road favorite to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Mexico native allowed three runs over 7 1/3 IP, giving up a long ball to Toronto’s Maicer Izturis as part of three hits.
Baltimore’s Nate McLouth went 2-for-4 from the leadoff spot, while Taylor Teagarden drilled his second homer of the year in a 1-for-3 day. Orioles infielders Manny Machado and J.J. Hardy were held to a combined 0-for-7, leaving four men on base.
Kluber notches win in slugfest
Kluber picked up a third straight win in Saturday’s 8-7 victory for Cleveland over the Minnesota Twins, cashing as 150 home ‘chalk.’ The 27-year-old surrendered two homers as part of eight hits, giving up three runs over 5 2/3 innings.
Cleveland’s Michael Bourn and Carlos Santana united to bat 5-for-7, with Bourn logging three RBIs. Indians mates Mike Aviles and Michael Brantley stranded five runners each in a 0-for-9 night, while Cleveland was edged in hits by Minnesota, 13-12.
Back Baltimore as home ‘chalk’
Bet365 opened Gonzalez as a 136 home favorite, with the MLB odds dropping to 132 after early wagers on Cleveland. The ‘total’ was first posted at nine, with a minus 120 tag added to the OVER.
I am adding a ticket on Gonzalez and Baltimore as part of Thursday’s sports picks, looking for Buck Showalter’s club to end this set with a victory.
Gonzalez has yet to come away with a loss in his home dates, with Baltimore notching a 6-0 mark over the stretch. The 29-year-old has held foes to a .291 OBP at Camden Yards, while facing an Indians’ lineup who has hit just .234 against right-handed pitching on the road.
Gonzalez held Cleveland to two runs in last July’s sole start, with Baltimore prevailing as a 121 road dog. Cleveland’s Mike Aviles, Michael Brantley and Nick Swisher have hit a combined 0-for-14 against the righty.
Kluber has had some inconsistency away from home, allowing 19 runs over his last five starts (31 1/3 IP). Cleveland has gone 2-5 in Kluber’s last seven starts against clubs with winning records, while logging a 0-5 mark in the hurler’s last five outings against American League East rivals.
Baltimore is 9-4 in its last 13 home dates against right-handed starters, while hitting a sizable .273 against righties all season. Look for the Orioles to collect again here, getting the money in this finale.
MLB Pick: Baltimore Orioles -132 at Bet365
Get the most of your picks today by checking out the Thursday Betting Odds & Lines Report~