MLB Picks: Padres vs. Indians Series Coverage

Willie Bee

Monday, April 7, 2014 12:33 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 7, 2014 12:33 PM UTC

Wednesday's baseball betting card includes a doubleheader in Cleveland where the Indians and San Diego Padres close out their interleague series following Monday's foul weather.


9th April
Padres vs. Indians Game 3

By: Willie Bee


That extra day off on Monday sure seemed to do wonders for the bats belonging to the San Diego Padres and Cleveland Indians.  The clubs combined for 14 runs in Tuesday's contest, and it will now be up to the pitchers to slow the assault in not one, but two games Wednesday afternoon. 

Cleveland took the delayed first meeting between the teams, 8-6, the score looking closer than it actually was as the Padres scored three times in the ninth.  Monday's washout means they'll have to squeeze in two games today to make sure this interleague set is completed. 

SBR's live baseball odds show very similar numbers for both contests, so let's get to the previews and free MLB picks.

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Stults 1st Of Two Lefties Taking Hill For Pads
Game 1 of this twinbill is scheduled for a 12:05 PM (ET) at Progressive Field, and features a pair of hurlers each looking for their first win of 2014.  Eric Stults is the first of two southpaws San Diego manager Bud Black is sending to the mound in Cleveland, with Zach McAllister answering Terry Francona' call for the Tribe.

The Indians are carrying -135 chalk into the matchup with an 8 run total favoring the 'over.'

Stults proved to be no mystery to Miami hitters last week when the Marlins collected seven hits and scored five times in his four innings of work.  He has faced the Indians once before, that start coming in 2012 while Stults was with the White Sox, and did well on this mound with a 6-IP, 2-ER effort. 

McAllister is making his second consecutive start in a doubleheader, the first coming last week in the nightcap at Oakland.  He also only lasted four innings, allowing three runs, and the Indians rallied for a 6-4 triumph.  Wednesday marks his cherry vs. the Padres.


Tribe Calls Up Bauer To Start Second Game
The second game is tentatively scheduled for 3:30 PM (ET), and features young hurlers Robbie Erlin of the Padres and Trevor Bauer of the Indians.  Cleveland is priced from -133 to -140 on the MLB odds with 8.5 for the total.

Erlin was originally scheduled to start Monday's matchup before his 2014 starting debut was called off.  The 23-year-old lefthander made one relief appearance last week against the Dodgers, and he'll be making just the ninth start of his MLB career today.

Bauer is being called up from the minors for this start as teams get to add a 26th player to their roster for doubleheaders.  The 3rd-overall pick in 2011 out of UCLA by Arizona, Bauer was dealt to Cleveland after the 2012 season as part of a 3-team trade that also involved the Cincinnati Reds.  This will be his ninth MLB start as well, and second vs. the Padres after they belted him around in Phoenix during his 2012 rookie campaign. 

Let's break out the brooms for our free MLB picks in these two games; I'll be backing Cleveland to sweep both the doubleheader and the series. 

My pick: Indians -135 Game 1; Indians -135 Game 2

Season: 7-6 (+0.75)




8th April
Padres vs. Indians Game 2

By: Willie Bee


Mother Nature didn't cooperate with the San Diego Padres and Cleveland Indians on Monday.  The unscheduled day off will now force the two teams into an early doubleheader on Wednesday, and twinbills are generally frowned upon by managers, especially this time of the season. 

Before the clubs can worry about that, however, they'll attempt to at least get one game under their belts Tuesday night when the weatherman says the rain will be gone, but leave behind some chilly temps in the Cleveland area. 

San Diego manager Bud Black will hold Monday's scheduled starter Robbie Erlin back for one of Wednesday's contests, and send Tyson Ross to the hill Tuesday.  Terry Francona is sticking with Corey Kluber for the delayed series opener, and the Indians are once again favorites with a -150 moneyline for the matchup.

A quick check of SBR's live MLB odds shows an 8 run total for Tuesday's tilt, the high side of that number drawing a little extra juice.


Beaten As Chalk, Ross Eyes Win As Underdog
San Diego had high hopes for Ross after a strong finish for the lanky righthander in 2013.  He was moved into the rotation after the all-star break, and responded with nine quality starts in 16 assignments, limiting hitters to a .210 average in that role.

The former star at Cal didn't exactly light spring training on fire, however, posting a 4.66 ERA in five exhibition starts as batters connected for an average near .300 in those efforts.  Ross' first assignment of the regular season came last Wednesday in San Diego, and he fell behind the Dodgers 3-0 in the top of the first, a deficit the Padres never made up in the 5-1 loss as small home favorites.

Ross has faced the Indians twice before, both times while with the Athletics and each start coming in Oakland.  He managed to pitch to a 1.38 ERA in those 13 innings, but batters available to Francona on Wednesday have raked at a .400 average against Ross.


Rain Dogging Tribe At Two Levels
Kluber might eventually become known as Rain Man around the Indians dugout after having a second start postponed due to weather.  His season debut was also delayed 24 hours after rain spoiled his assignment in Oakland last week, and the extra day of rest did Kluber no favors as he was chased from the mound in the fourth inning on the following day having allowed five runs and eight hits.

Inclement weather is also playing havoc with the Indians down on the minor league level.  Speedy leadoff hitter Michael Bourn has been on a rehab assignment with Columbus for several days, hoping to get back to 100% after a hamstring injury during spring training, but two of his games there have also been postponed due to wet weather.

Monday's postponement did allow Cleveland relievers to get some extra rest after being used often in last weekend's set vs. Minnesota.  I'm going to get behind the pitchers on both sides this evening with a free MLB pick on the 'under.' 

My pick: Padres-Indians Under 8 (+100)

Season: 6-5 (+0.75)



7th April
Padres vs. Indians Game 1

By: Willie Bee


We've already seen one contest on Monday's short MLB schedule postponed because of wet weather; could the series opener in Cleveland between the Indians and San Diego Padres also fall victim to Mother Nature?

The forecast certainly doesn't look good some 12 hours in advance of the 7:05 PM (ET) first pitch at Progressive Field.  Even if the teams can squeeze the matchup in between raindrops, it certainly isn't going to be comfortable conditions for the fans as the weatherman is calling for temps in the low-to-mid 40s along with southeast winds in the 15-20 mph range.

Cleveland's Corey Kluber is scheduled to deliver the game's first toss with the Indians chalked up at -140 to -145 on SBR's live baseball odds.  Robbie Erlin makes his first start of the season for San Diego, and the 8 run total is priced 20¢ to the 'under.'

This is only the fourth time the Pads and Tribe have gotten together for an interleague set, the last coming nearly six years ago in Cleveland.  The Indians have won all three of the previous series for a 6-3 mark in the nine games.  Five of the six games played at Progressive Field went 'over' the total.


Pads Hoping Bats Come Around Sooner Rather Than Later
No lineup is struggling more to score runs than San Diego's (2-4, -2.0 units).  That the Padres have managed to win two games out of six scoring just 12 times is even more amazing when you take into account Sunday's 4-2 win at Miami set a season-high for runs and tied the mark for most hits (7).

Bud Black will lead with Erlin in this series after the southpaw broke camp as the No. 5 starter.  A 3rd-round pick by Texas in '09, Erlin was used in five spring games, once as a starter, and pitched well in every situation with a 1.46 ERA and 12/3 K:BB ratio.  He's been groomed as a starter throughout his minor league career, and consistently posted strong strikeout-to-walk numbers.

Erlin made just one start last season vs. an American League club, and it was a bit of a disaster at Fenway Park where the Red Sox touched him up for five hits, three walks and three runs before chasing him in the fourth inning.


Tribe In Search Of Quality Starts From Rotation
Cleveland (3-3, -1.05) dropped Sunday's closing matchup against the Twins, 10-7, rallying from an early 4-run deficit to tie but getting no closer to the lead.  Minnesota's bullpen squelched any hopes for the Indians to drop Tribe backers who were laying -195.

It's not uncommon for starting pitchers to still be stretching their arms out at this time of the season, but in the case of the Indians, manager Terry Francona and pitching coach Mickey Callaway are hopeful Kluber can deliver what would just be the staff's second stint of six innings or more.  Justin Masterson hurled seven innings in the season opener, but no starter has made it through the sixth inning since.

Kluber didn't even make it through the fourth frame of his 2014 debut last Wednesday in Oakland, exiting the contest one out into that inning having already surrendered eight hits and five runs.  This will be his first career assignment vs. the Padres, and only his fourth against an NL club.  The good news is the other three interleague starts came last season, and all three ended with a dubya for both Kluber and the Tribe. 

Cold and wet conditions rarely favor the pitchers, but San Diego's anemic offense scares me off the 'over.'  Cleveland dominated lefties last season, so that's where I'm going with my free MLB pick on the Tribe by at least two runs. 

My pick: Indians -1.5 (+145)

Season: 5-5 (-0.25)
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