A great pitching match-up leads off the Indians-Tigers series Friday night at Comerica Park. This handicapper found a lean on both the side and the total for a pair of free MLB picks.
Indians-Tigers Friday Betting Odds
As of early Friday morning the best line we could find on Detroit and lefty David Price was the -130 offered at Pinnacle, while Cleveland and Danny Salazar could be found getting +125 at WagerWeb. And most books were listing the total on tonight's game at 7.5 runs.
Cleveland just dropped two of three games at home to Seattle this week, avoiding a sweep and stopping a three-game losing streak with a 6-0 victory Thursday. Last weekend the Indians lost two of three to Baltimore. So the Tribe has lost two series in a row, and four of its last six games.
Cleveland has also played eight UNDERS in its last 12 games, in part because it's been held to three runs or less eight times in that span.
Detroit, meanwhile, just split two games with the Cubs this week, losing Thursday 12-3. The Tigers then had Thursday off.
Just before that the Kitties had taken two of three games from the White Sox in Chicago, but just prior to that they had lost eight games in a row. Detroit has also had some problems scoring runs as of late.
Big-picture, at 31-29 the Tigers are 4.5 games behind first-place Kansas City in the AL Central, while at 28-31 Cleveland sits seven games off the pace.
The Tigers have already taken five of six games from the Tribe this season, with the OVERS going 5-1.
Friday's Starting Pitchers
Price (5-2, 2.70) is seven-for-12 on quality starts this season, working on a run of four in a row. Last Saturday he tossed a complete game against the White Sox, allowing just one run and five hits, with two walks and 11 whiffs. And over his last four starts he's allowed eight runs – five earned – through 30 1/3 innings. For the season Price has permitted 76 hits through 83 1/3 innings, with 20 walks and 74 strikeouts. Detroit is 10-2 in Price's starts this year, with the totals splitting 6-6.
Since the beginning of last season Price has started three times against Cleveland, allowing five runs – just two earned – and 20 hits through 20 1/3 innings; the Tigers won all three of those games, and with great run support all three games played OVER.
Salazar (6-1, 3.50) is five-for-10 on quality starts this season. Last Saturday he held Baltimore to one run through seven innings, with one walk and 10 strikeouts, and over his last four starts he's allowed seven runs through 24 innings. On the season Salazar has given up fewer hits, 54, than innings pitched, 61 2/3, walked just 17 and struck out 81. Cleveland is 8-2 in Salazar's starts, with the totals leaning OVER by a 6-4 margin.
Since the beginning of last season Salazar has started four times against Detroit, allowing nine runs and 26 hits through 26 1/3 innings; the Indians split those four games, with the OVERS going 3-1.
Thursday's Batting Splits
Cleveland ranks fourth in the Majors this season against left-handed pitching with a .342 team OBP.
Detroit ranks fourth against right-handed pitching with a .329 OBP.
Friday Free Picks
We give Price the edge in the mound match-up, so we'll take the Tigers for our MLB picks, the home team at a relatively short price. Also, with these two starters going, backed up by two of the better bullpens in baseball at the moment, we're thinking UNDER.