Quality Pitching Make Indians -170 & 'Over' Our Sharp MLB Picks

Monday, July 4, 2016 3:13 PM GMT

Let’s come up with a MLB pick for game 1 AL Central series between the red-hot host Cleveland Indians and the Detroit Tigers, which sounds promising for the home team. 

Detroit Tigers vs. Cleveland Indians
Progressive Field in Cleveland is the site of Game 1 of this 3-game AL Central series between the host Cleveland Indians (49-32) and RHP Danny Salazar and the Detroit Tigers (44-38) and RHP Daniel Norris on Monday night in a nationally televised Fourth of July affair from the city of new champions (the NBA’s Cavaliers) and no more Johnny Manziel (the NFL’s Browns). 

Offshore MLB odds have opened up the Tigers as -173 Home favorites at Heritage with the game’s Total (Runs) opening up at Over 8 -115, at Heritage with the Run Line odds seeing the Indians -1½ runs with a return of +117 and the visiting Tigers +1½ runs at -133 at Heritage. The First Five Innings odds have Cleveland priced as -180 favorites with the Tigers priced at +155 with the First Five Innings Total set at Under 4½ -115 at Heritage.

The scheduled Starters for Game 2 on Tuesday night (7 p.m. EDT/4 p.m. PDT) are Carlos Carrasco (4-2) for Cleveland and Jordan Zimmerman (9-4) for the Tigers while on Wednesday afternoon (12:10 p.m. EDT/9:10 a.m. PDT) in Game 3, Cleveland is scheduled to throw Josh Tomlin (9-1) against the Tigers Michael Fulmer (8-2) in a battle between guys with a combined 17-3 record.

 

Detroit Tigers
The Detroit Tigers (40/1 to win World Series at PaddyPower) and Manager Brad Ausmus have W6 straight games heading here and scored 45 Runs in the process (7.5 rpg), staying on the heels of these red-hot Indians in the AL Central, 5½ games back in the standings going 7-3 over their L10 while Cleveland has now gone 8-2. And with the defending World Series champions, the Kansas City Royals (43-38, 6 GB) and Chris Sale and the Chicago White Sox (42-40, 7½ GB) both playing some good baseball themselves, this current Win Streak by the Tigers and that 14-game run by the Indians may end up quickly being forgotten as we haven’t even reached the All-Star Break and 162 games is a lot of games, especially in the context of modern day professional sports.

On Sunday, Detroit (402 RF-389 RA) made it 6 in a row with a 5-1 over the Rays in Tampa to earn a 4-game Sweep in which Detroit outscored the host and still slumping Rays, 28-12. In the victory, Detroit Manager Ausmus had a Starting Lineup of: 2B Ian Kinsler, SS José Iglesias, 1B Miguel Cabrera, DH Victor Martínez, 3B Nick Castellanos, LF Justin Upton, RF Steven Moya, C James McCann and CF Andrew Romine with Mike Pelfrey (No Decision) getting the start for Detroit and working 6 IP and allowing just 1 Earned Run and 6 Hits. Kinsler (2-4, Double HR), Iglesias (2-5, 2 Singles) and Upton (2-4, Single, Double, 2 RBI). The Tigers are 24-18 on the Road.

 

Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians (14/1 to win World Series at Ladbrokes) have W14-16 but have L2 after seeing their franchise-record winning streak (14) ended in Toronto on Saturday by the Blue Jays, 17-1—after winning in 19 innings the night before—in what was both a baseball game and a catharsis for those Cleveland opponents of lately who have Lost, Lost Lost every time they played Cleveland. The Indians (-200 to win AL Central, Coral) have been playing very good defense and getting very good Pitching allowing 2, 2, 2, 4, 0, 1, 5, 0, 3, 3, 3, 0, 1 and 1 Runs in that 14-game run which took Cleveland from a 35-30 Record to 49-30 and in command (for now at least) in the competitive AL Central. But the Jays have L2 and on Sunday, the Tribe were absolutely pasted by Toronto, 17-1.

In the embarrassing loss, Cleveland Manager Terry Francona put out a Starting Lineup of LF Rajai Davis, 2B Jason Kipnis, SS Francisco Lindor, DH Mike Napoli, 1B Carlos Santana, 3B Jose Ramirez, C Yan Gomes, CF Abraham Almonte and RF Lonnie Chisenhall with Corey Kluber (8-8, 3.11 IP, 7 Hits 5 Runs, 5 ER) getting rocked as the Indians Starter in the 17-1 loss. Santana was the only Indians batter with multiple Hits (Single, Double) and it seems the Tribe (390 RF-314 RA) may simply be exhaling after having to do every little thing right just to reel off those 14 straight W’s. It was an 8-run Bottom of 6th which put the game away and help host Toronto (45-39, W2) earn a split in the series.

 

Starting Pitchers Report Card
Indians scheduled starting RHP Danny Salazar (10-3, 2.22 ERA, 107 K’s) has been in a stone cold groove of late, going 5-0 with a 1.91 ERA and 35 K’s to earn AL Pitcher of the Month honors as Cleveland shifted into high gear a the Summer came in. Right-hander Salazar hurled a Shutout against the Atlanta Braves in his last start, throwing 7 SO Innings. Lifetime against Salazar, some Tigers have fared well at the plate, including Steven Moya, 2-3, .667), Cameron Maybin (1-1, HR), James McCann (.500, 6-12), Andrew Romine (.500, 5-10 HR), Ian Kinsler (.292, HR, 5 RBI) and Miguel Cabrera (.310, 2 HRs, 5 RBI), of course.

Nick Castellanos (.206), Jose Iglesias (.200) and Victor Martinez (.,250, 7-28, HR, 2 RBI) have all struggled somewhat against Salazar (1.11 WHIP). Tigers LHP Daniel Norris (1-0, 4.09 ERA, 13 K’s) got his first Win of the season in his last start where he struck out 8 Florida Marlins in 5 IP. With Norris being so young, naturally few Cleveland (23-12 at Home) hitters have ever face him and there have been just 6 Indians ABs against Norris with Carlos “Oye Como Va “ Santana getting the only Hit. These are two pretty decent young AL Central Pitchers we may hearing a lot from in the future.

 

Weather Forecast, Trends, Megatrends, Final Wrap-Up and Picks
The Weather Channel forecast for the Rock N’ Roll Capital of the World (Cleveland) for Monday night calls for Considerable Cloudiness, the possibility of a Thunderstorm or stray Shower, a Low of 69° with SW Winds 5-10 mph (blowing out to LF) and 69% Humidity. So, it will probably be a little stuffy and humid and see some different weather over a 9-inning game so close to lake Erie and with this Forecast.

One good thing for Detroit (8/1 to win AL Central at 888Sports) here is that the Indians rank in the bottom half of the AL in OPS against Southpaws (Norris), but Salazar has been dominating of late, making any thought of taking the Over stuck in the mud because of his success in June. Some Trends worth considering here: Cleveland is 44-36 on the Run Line, 11-23 its L34 Monday games, 20-7 its L27 against the AL Central, 86-42 its L128 Home dates against teams with a losing Road record and the Indians are 7-0 in their L7 games against a Starter with a WHIP higher than 1.30 and 12-2 their L14 against a Left-handed starter. The Tigers are 7-1 in Norris’ L8 starts on Grass, 7-1 in Norris’ L8 Starts overall and Detroit is 4-0 in Norris‘ L4 starts against the AL Central but 0-6 in its L6 against the AL Central.

Some Totals Trends: The Over is 7-1 after an Indians Road Trip of 7 or more Days, the Over is 13-5-1 the L19 Game 1’s of a Cleveland series and the Over is 42-20-2 in the L64 Indians Home games and with the warm Summer weather here. But the Under is 14-3 -1 the L18 Cleveland games against a Pitcher with a WHIP over 1.30, 40-19-1 L60 Indians Home games against a team with a Winning Record and 14-3-1 the L18 Cleveland games against a Pitcher with a WHIP higher than 1.30.

But there are some really powerful Megatrends here in this series which make the MLB picks for themselves: The Indians are 9-0 against Detroit so far this season (+9.3 units) and 14-2 over the L16 meetings while the Over is an incredible 18-3 the L21 in C-Town (+15.3 units)—32-12 overall the L3 seasons (+18.7 units)—with the Over 6-3 so far in this series in 2016. If a team hasn’t lost to another team all season, is at Home and has the AL Pitcher of the Month going, the Side pick (Indians) basically makes itself.

And when the Over is hitting at a 85.7% clip at a particular Site over a relevant and recent sample size (18-3 L21 at Progressive Field in Cleveland), than the Totals pick almost makes itself, although the amounts should be tempered here by the fact it’s the start of a new week and a Holiday, Cleveland finally had its long streak broken and may feel a little spent—the Indians have been outscored 26-7 the L2 days—and Detroit has W6 and is feeling pretty good about themselves right about now and may have something in the 23-year-old, 6-2, 195-pound southpaw Norris (4.09 ERA, 1.35 WHIP), a former Blue Jay and native of Johnson City, Tennessee. Or maybe not.

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PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: Indians 6 Tigers 4

Free MLB Picks: Indians -170, Over 8 -115 
Best Line Offered: Indians -170 at Bet365, Over 8 -115 at 5Dimes

MLB RECORD SEASON TO DATE: 15-16-1