MLB Baseball - Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians (-147, 8.5) 7:00 PM EST
Cleveland ended a brief two game losing skid at Boston yesterday, pounding out 18 hits against Dice-K and the rest of the Boston pitching staff in an 8-4 win.
The Indians are now 4-2 during their most difficult part of the schedule season to date, as they get ready to host Detroit four times in a huge Central Division showdown, with the same city's basketball teams grinding it out in the NBA. Game 1 of the baseball series is tonight at 7:05 PM ET.
The Tigers are picking a poor time to slump, having been swept at home by Cleveland last weekend and losing a series down in Tampa Bay.
Game One will be all about pitching with aces Justin Verlander facing C.C. Sabathia for the second time in six days. The big lefty from Cleveland picked up the win as the Detroit bullpen was ineffective again in 6-3 loss.
Detroit is 11-7 against the money line at Cleveland the last three seasons; however this Indians club is 17-4 in home games for +12 units, averaging six runs a game.
Why Tigers win
Justin Verlander is 5-1 with a 2.71 ERA on the season after he gave up two runs and three hits over six innings last Saturday in a no decision effort. Detroit's recent slump has them falling of first place and readjusting the mindset.
"It's early in the year," said Verlander, "There's no reason to get upset about getting swept by those guys. We want to turn the tables."
The Tigers are 18-7 against the ML after having lost four of their last five games over the last two seasons. To improve record, reserves will have to play a part as the left side of the infield will likely be out.
Third sacker Brandon Inge chipped a bone in left big toe on Tuesday and SS Carlos Guillen suffered mild left groin strain Wednesday, and so they must compensate for the trusty glove at third and a run-producing bat until each return.
Detroit is 9-3 against LH starters this season and Verlander is a table setter with 8-3 mark in Game One of a series in his last 11 trips.
Why Indians win
The Indians line-up has power and production up and down all nine spots that is destroying teams by two runs a game at home in earning such a spectacular record.
Oddsmakers have to shade the Tribe at Jacobs Field and they have responded with 16-3 mark against the ML as a home favorite of -110 or higher this season.
Cleveland has been ripping right-handed pitching all season, even more so at home with preposterous 15-2 record at home games against right-handed starters in 2007.
Sabathia is 7-1 with 3.54 ERA and like everything for this Cleveland team is better at home with 4-0 mark and low 2.70 ERA. He is 11-7 lifetime against Detroit and 6'7 lefthander and his teammates are 7-0 in his last seven starts at "the Jake".
Cleveland is -147 with a total of 8.5 at sportsbook.com.
Top Totals Trends
Detroit is 11-3 OVER when the total is 7 to 8.5 this season. Cleveland is 10-2 OVER after having lost two of their last three games this season.
With two top notch pitchers meeting, not much to choose from when trying to pick a winner. The value goes with Detroit still being a very good team and receiving +137 with ace pitching.
The Tigers will have emotional edge to start after being swept by Cleveland and would want no less then a split here.
Sabathia is 20-33 (-18.5 Units) against the ML in home games vs. teams outscoring opposition by 0.5 or more runs a game on the season in his career. (Indians Record) An even better suggestion would be the Over as long as it holds at 8.5.
Batters always have the advantage seeing a pitcher twice within a week and these two high powered offenses will score runs. The two starting pitchers are a combined 12-6 Over this season.
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