The Cleveland Indians surpassed the Miami Marlins by a score of 7-4 on Tuesday in the first of a brief two-game interleague matchup. After this game on Wednesday, they’ll head back home to welcome the Seattle Mariners for a three-game series over the weekend. The Indians are favorites to win the AL Central, but are trailing by 1.5 games with the Minnesota Twins ahead in 1st.
It’s tough to argue that the Indians are not going to be atop the division by the end of the season. However, it’s not going to be nearly as easy as last season and they might get into a close race with the Twins in the summer. The Indians didn’t really get better in the offseason. If anything they stayed the course and are hoping that Francisco Lindor getting back into form will spearhead their push.
The Twins on the other hand did attempt to get better by adding Nelson Cruz. Meanwhile, the Indians’ opponents for today, the Miami Marlins, have been clear sellers the past few seasons. Saying goodbye to Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich was looked at with raised eyebrows, especially Yelich who was traded and didn’t have a Stanton like contract.
That may change and he may exceed what Stanton is making at this pace in Milwaukee, but given his production, he’s on a bargain at $50 million for seven years. The Marlins acquired some prospects for Yelich, but you never know with them.
Miami did score some runs for once last night, as just scoring 4 runs last night was an accomplishment for them. However, that looks like an offensive explosion compared to a lot of their games this season. It’s only the third game in their last ten games that they’ve scored more than 3 runs. The pitching failed to show up on Tuesday, with a lackluster performance by Sandy Alcantara. Caleb Smith will attend the bump this evening for the Marlins, while Corey Kluber will look to get on track. Head below for our free Indians vs. Marlins pick.
Cleveland Indians vs. Miami Marlins Pick:
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Kluber has not been off to the hottest of starts in 2019. The usually sure handed Kluber has been feeling cold in April. Hopefully the start of a new month will bring better results for Kluber, who has been trying to get into a groove. He’s made one standout performance this season, which came against the Tigers on the 9th. Kluber surrendered only 1 earned run in that one but it’s been a difficult trek for him otherwise. The Tigers don’t have the best offense and the Marlins are even worse statistically, so this might be a good opportunity for him to get things straightened out.
He enters with an ERA of 5.81 which is well off the pace of the 2.89 ERA and 2.25 ERA he put together the last two seasons. His worst year was in 2012 as a sophomore and he only had 12 outings that season. As a fulltime member of the rotation, his worst season was a 3.85 ERA the following season. He owns a career ERA of 3.15, so in other words, it’s been well below average for him in 2019 to start the season. There is still more than enough time to catch up to that, though.
Kluber has been nearly perfect against this Marlins’ lineup. A lot of pitchers have their way against them this season, but Kluber has turned them inside out at the plate. The Marlins are hitting .139 with just 5 hits in 36 at-bats. No one in this lineup has been able to go long on Kluber with no RBI’s allowed. Starlin Castro has the most at-bats with 12 and has managed just 2 singles. If he can’t get things going against this group, then there might be something wrong with his arm. Note that the Marlins are 30th in the majors with 2.79 runs scored per game. Conversely, the Indians are 25th with 3.78 runs per outing.
Caleb Smith has been one bright spot for the Marlins this season. Smith has been accumulating elite numbers out of the gate, as he hopes to maintain a stellar 2.17 ERA against the Indians this evening. Along with that solid number, Smith has an ERA of 1.00 and 0.72 WHIP in his previous three games. Across those three outings, he’s allowed only 2 runs in 18 innings of play. At home in Miami he hasn’t given up much, with only 3 runs allowed in 17 innings for a 1.59 ERA and 0.82 WHIP. The Yankees don’t look too bright giving up on after just nine appearances in 2017. Expect a lower scoring game this evening with the UNDER worth a look in Miami.