Shane Bieber (7-1, 1.53 ERA) vs. Casey Mize (0-1, 5.85 ERA)
The Cleveland Indians will attempt to stop the bleeding at Comerica Park on Thursday night. They went through another tough loss last night, as their losing streak balloons to eight games. Their latest frustrating loss was in the bottom of the 10th in extra innings. After failing to score a run in their frame, Javier Baez singled home the winning run with the bases juiced on a 0-2 count.
It looked like the Indians were going to get out of the jam. The Cubs had the bases loaded with no outs, and after back-to-back strikeouts, Baez had to come through. That he did and the Indians left Wrigleyville with their eighth straight loss.
There isn’t any good time for a losing skid during a 60-game season, but this is coming at the worst possible time for the Indians. They are taking themselves out of the AL Central race in a hurry. The Tribe go into Thursday with a discouraging six-game deficit. The White Sox are up in the division with a record of 32-17 for a two-game advantage on the Minnesota Twins.
There’s less than two weeks remaining in the regular season, so the Indians have to start focusing on protecting their wildcard. Catching up to reel in the White Sox and win the AL Central is out of the question now. Fortunately for the Indians, we’re playing in a season where 16 clubs reach the playoffs. A record of 26-23 would be enough for the final wildcard in the American League.
The Indians are in Detroit for a four-game series versus the Tigers at Comerica Park. This is a beatable opponent, but if you take the Tigers lightly, they can pull up and bite. The Tigers are coming off a split in a two-game series against the KC Royals. They were 4-0 losers yesterday, as the Tigers fell victim to a hot Brady Singer.
Indians’ ace and Cy Young candidate, Shane Bieber, will be assigned with ending this eight-game drought for Cleveland. Rookie, and a guy who the Tigers see as their future ace, Casey Mize, is penciled in for the Tigers tonight. Head below for our free Cleveland Indians vs. Detroit Tigers pick for September 17, 2020.
Cleveland Indians vs. Detroit Tigers MLB Betting Odds:
Cleveland Indians vs. Detroit Tigers Prediction:
The Tigers will have to solve Shane Bieber on Thursday if they’re going to be responsible for extending the Indians’ losing streak even further. The Tigers don’t have much of a chance of getting into the postseason, but they would certainly like to make life miserable on one of their rivals.
With Bieber on the bump, it’s not going to be an easy task, though. Bieber is one of the favorites to win the AL Cy Young and for good reason. He enters Thursday with a rock solid ERA of 1.53 and 0.87 WHIP. Bieber hasn’t made it easy on opposing hitters, frustrating many along the way.
Bieber is coming off one of his worst performances of the season. He conceded 5 hits and 3 earned runs against the Twins in Minnesota. Just about every pitcher in the majors wish they can say that’s their worst performance this season. Despite allowing 3 runs there, Bieber has an ERA of 2.00 and 1.00 WHIP in his last three outings.
He’s been efficient on the road with an ERA of 1.51 and 0.80 WHIP. Bieber also has had a lot of success against the Tigers. He hasn’t given up a run against this offense in 43 at-bats. Jorge Bonifacio is the only Tiger on the roster that has an extra base hit against Bieber. This game will likely come down to depending on Casey Mize for the Tigers.
Mize reached his full potential in his most recent outing. He had a no-hitter in the works before the White Sox connected for a double in the 6th inning. His arm ran out of gas, but it was impressive nonetheless. Mize left the game with 1 hit and 2 earned runs allowed. He’s certainly a better pitcher than his numbers indicate. The No. 1 pitcher in the Tigers’ pipeline, Mize, should be able to build off that performance.
The Indians have been horrific offensively with only 4 runs per game for 27th in the majors. The clutch hitting hasn’t been present for Cleveland. They couldn’t scratch across one plate in the 10th last night with a runner starting on second. I could see this matchup developing into a pitching battle. I’m favoring a low-scoring game with a look at the UNDER in Detroit.