Smart Angle For The Cleveland-Detroit Double Header Closer

jordan zimmermann

Saturday, July 1, 2017 2:49 PM GMT

There’s a big prime-time matchup on deck in the American League Central, but as we go to press, we’re still waiting for the baseball odds for Cleveland-Detroit.

Making reasonably sharp MLB picks isn’t all that hard. Once you’ve figured out how the betting market works and how to exploit it, all you really need to do is find some odds that are out of whack. Our job here at the ranch is to point you in the right direction, and show you how to use the best free stuff on the interwebs to get you almost as much profit margin as you’d get through a reliable paid tout service – if you can find one.

Unfortunately, as we go to press, we’re still waiting for the second game of Saturday’s Cleveland-Detroit double-header (7:15 p.m. ET, FOX) to show up on the MLB odds board (Editor's Note: Odds have been released). But this is an important prime-time game on national TV, so let’s take a looky-loo and get you set up for making a sharp decision when the odds do come in – maybe they’re already on the board as you read this.

Take It From the Source

It looks like the hold-up with the odds has to do with the probable starting pitchers. There are conflicting reports over who’s going to start which game; if we go by what’s listed on (presumably our most reliable source, journalistically speaking), it’ll be Carlos Carrasco for the Tribe and Jordan Zimmerman for the Tigers.

Conveniently enough, the stat nerds at FiveThirtyEight have run their projections using those two starters, and they have Cleveland winning 60 percent of the time, which works out to –150 on the crescent-fresh SBR Betting Odds Converter. The old rule of thumb says to look for betting lines that are at least 20 cents off. Keep in mind that the computer projections don’t include vigorish, so if you see Cleveland with MLB odds of –175 or shorter on a 10-cent line, that should be enough to fade them with confidence, If I'm doing the math right.


We’d expect the Tribe to be the overvalued team in this matchup – they almost won the 2016 World Series, after all. But if they happen to check in at –135 or longer, then don’t fade, follow. As for the pitchers themselves, Carrasco (3.73 FIP) is looking pretty good, while Zimmerman (5.83 FIP) is most definitely not, and there aren’t any serious gaps to exploit in BABIP or runners left on base with either gentleman.

Complicating matters further, Friday’s series-opener was rained out, so it might be a while before the teams sort out their rotations and the bookies get some odds on the board. Says here there’s a 60-percent chance of thunderstorms in Detroit Saturday afternoon, so maybe Game 1 gets delayed and they try for Game 2 – where there’s a 70-percent chance Donner and Blitzen show up. But at least now you’ve got a reasonable baseline expectation for the nightcap if Carrasco and Zimmerman do take the mound. Bet accordingly, and may the sphere be with you.

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