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MLB Indians at Tigers

July 03, 2007

MLB Baseball - Cleveland Indians at Detroit Tigers (-130, 10) 7:00 PM EST

Victor Martinez of the IndiansCleveland has been an unbelievable home team in 2007 yet put the same starting lineup on the field first in the visitor's uniforms and the transformation is astonishing.

The Indians are 19-20 (-3.3 units) on the road compared to baseball best 31-12 home record. Compare that to Detroit who is 27-15 away from home and mediocre 20-18 (-5 units) at Comerica Park, including having already lost four of six on the longest homestand of the year.

These are the two top scoring teams in all of major league baseball, with Detroit averaging 5.9 runs per game and Cleveland producing at a nice clip also at 5.4 RPG.

The Tigers recent struggles have had to do with scoring, as they have had just one game where they had 10 or more hits in last nine tries. The Indians have had the good fortune to face Tampa Bay pitching four straight days and have pounded out 71 base hits in the last week.

Detroit with Nate Robertson is a -130 home favorite at, with the total right on 10. The left-hander is 4-6 with 4.94 ERA this season and is just 2-4 taking on the Tribe with an ERA over five.

He will face Paul Byrd, whose windup looks like he should be pitching in black and white newsreels. The longtime veteran is 7-3 with 4.88 ERA this year. He allows a large number of hits, (121 in 86.7 innings) yet does not compound the problem by walking hitters and is a solid number five starter chewing up innings.

Cleveland is 15-10 against LH starters and Robertson is 3-13 against the money line vs. AL teams scoring 5.2 or more runs a game on the year over the last two seasons. (Tigers Record) Byrd is 7-2 taking on the Tigers since 1997 with sharp 2.95 ERA.

With runs expected to flow rather easily, he is only 16-28 against the ML when the total is 10 or higher over the last decade. (Team's Record)

One major edge manager Eric Wedge will have is the bullpen. Cleveland has converted 24 of 29 saves attempts and collectively the pen has 14-9 record.

The same can not be said for Jim Leyland's staff. With injuries and general ineffectiveness, Tigers relievers have blown 12 of 37 save opportunities and have 9-14 record. The bullpen ERA is puffed up 5.18.

Studying the trends reveal a few secrets that could make a decision easier. Cleveland is 12-2 vs. a mediocre bullpen whose WHIP is 1.450 to 1.550 this season. The Tigers are growling with 18-6 mark off a one run win over a division rival over the last three seasons.

Cleveland swept all three games in MoTown in late May and is 14-8 over the last three years here. They did split four games at home against Detroit including losing the last two and are 10-1 OVER in road games with double revenge of two straight losses against opponent this season.

Magglio Ordonez and the rest of teammates have no problem lighting the scoreboard up with 13-4 OVER mark at home with a money line of -100 to -150 this season.

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