Detroit owns a seven-game lead in the division standings, which has been helped by winning its last 11 contests away from home, including a 6-2 victory over Boston as +110 underdogs on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.
The Tigers have won 15 of their last 18 games against the Indians, but they’ll likely struggle to muster up enough energy to earn a win in this spot after traveling to Cleveland overnight from Beantown.
MLB handicappers will find that the club is 7-1 on the road with a money line of -100 to -125 this season, with no clear edge in terms of the betting total (4-4 'Over/Under').
Cleveland has scored just eight runs in dropping its last four contests, including a 13-3 blowout loss to the Oakland Athletics as +109 home underdogs Sunday afternoon, while going 'over' the total for the third time in that span.
The Indians are six games under .500 on the season, and are a dismal 4-11 versus left-handed starters.
Over the last two-plus seasons, the franchise is 13-15 after allowing 10 runs or more in its previous game.
Tigers starting pitcher Drew Smyly (2-2, 2.70 ERA) has watched the team alternate wins and losses over his last four trips to the mound, as he didn’t earn a decision in a 4-1 road victory over the Baltimore Orioles last time out.
The left-hander is 1-0 with a 0.56 ERA in three road appearances (two starts), with opposing hitters batting .148 against him.
Smyly has put together a 1-1 record and 5.09 ERA in 11 career outings (one start) versus the Indians.
Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber (4-3, 3.38 ERA) has registered back-to-back wins, including a 15-4 road victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in his last effort—surrendering two runs and four hits over seven innings of work.
The right-hander is 2-1 with a 2.43 ERA in four home starts, as he’s issued just five free passes and struck out 35 batters in 29.2 combined frames.
In seven appearances versus the Tigers, Kluber has compiled a 1-3 record and 5.50 ERA.
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Indians as one of their MLB picks, as they’ve gone 20-7 in their last 27 home games versus southpaw starters.
MLB Free Pick: Cleveland Indians +100