Pitching Matchup Makes Under The MLB Pick In Indians vs. Braves

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, June 28, 2016 3:00 PM GMT

The Indians are on the longest winning streak in baseball this year while the Braves have the worst record in the National League, but the ‘under’ may be the best MLB pick Tuesday.

 

There is a prohibitive favorite Tuesday night with the team riding the longest winning streak in the Major Leagues this season taking on the team with the worst record in the National League, but the ‘under’ may be the better play when Corey Kluber and those Cleveland Indians (32-36, 17-20 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Matt Wisler and the Atlanta Braves (26-50, 11-30 home) at Turner Field in Atlanta, GA at 7:10 ET on FOX Sports - Southeast.

The posted total at Heritage Sports is 7½ for this contest with the current MLB odds on the ‘under’ set at -115.

 

Tribe Extended Streak in Series Opener
The winning streak for the Indians has now reached 10 straight games, the first team in baseball to have a double-digit win streak this year, with an easy 8-3 win in the first game of this three-game interleague series last night. Cleveland has now opened up a bit of daylight in the American League Central with a five-game lead over the defending World Series Champion Kansas City Royals in second.

The Braves were expected to take their lumps this season while in a rebuilding phase, as they are playing a bunch of youngsters outside of Freddie Freeman that may have been rushed up to the majors a bit early for some on-the-job training. Those youngsters do certainly get an “A” for effort with Atlanta actually having won eight of its last 12 games even with the loss on Monday, but it remains the worst MLB pick in the National League this year at 26-50.


 

Former Cy Young Winner
The Indians were popular preseason picks to win the division due to great starting pitching, so their current standing is not a surprise. You may recall that Kluber won the Cy Young Award for Cleveland two years ago, and then even though he slumped to 9-16 last season, he still finished with a 3.49 ERA and 245 strikeouts in 222 innings vs. just 45 walks. It has been more of the same this year with Kluber pitching much better than his 7-7 record.

It took a dazzling Complete Game three-hit shutout with nine strikeouts vs., the Tampa Bay Rays by Kluber last Tuesday for him to even up his won/lost record, but his peripheral numbers have remained as strong as ever. Corey has 103 strikeouts in 102.2 innings vs. 22 walks this season, resulting in a 2.86 FIP, 3.31 xFIP and 2.9 WAR with that WAR being the sixth best in the Major Leagues despite the .500 record.

Now he could take advantage of probably the worst offense in baseball with the Braves ranking dead last in the majors in runs scored (3.33 per game), home runs (38) and OPS (.639), as well as 27th in batting (.238). Furthermore, this marks Kluber’s first ever appearance vs. Atlanta, which should make him even tougher to hit.

 

Promising Future for Wisler
With that said, the youngster Wisler also has the ability to keep the Cleveland bats in check to help this ‘under’, as he bounced back nicely from a rough outing vs. the Chicago Cubs on June 11th by posting Quality Starts his last two outings, both of which resulted in rare Atlanta victories. Granted Wisler is 3-7 with a 4.22 ERA overall, but that ERA is skewed by a bit of a rough patch he had recently and his last two starts indicate he has regained his good form.

Wisler’s peripherals are encouraging also as he has a nice ratio of 61 strikeouts vs. 26 walks, and he too is facing the Indians for the first time ever, meaning that he could use that unfamiliarity to his advantage. And although the Indians are red-hot, their weakest batting split this season has been vs. right-hander pitchers on the road as they are surprisingly batting a weak .219 and averaging only 3.88 runs per game in this circumstance.

 

An ‘under’ Series
Finally, when these teams went ‘over’ in the series opener last night, it marked the first ‘over’ in this head-to-head series in over a decade! Obviously, that has more to do with these clubs hardly ever meeting in interleague play, with that ‘under’ run standing at 8-0-1 before Monday.

Nonetheless, this pitching matchup suggests a continuation of that trend, so go ‘under’ when Cleveland visits Atlanta for the second game of this series on Tuesday.

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MLB Pick: Braves Under 7½ -115
Best Line Offered:  at Heritage
MLB Record: 45-36-2, +11.61