There were 4 runs in the 1st inning, and then 9 by the end of the 5th, but nothing after that. A heartbreaking loss dotted our MLB pick last night, as the OVER came up just short by a run. Had a similar selection go that way the other day as well, so no breaks lately on the diamond. Time to break out of that funk in Tampa where the Indians and Rays will take to the field at Tropicana.
On a side note, Tropicana has to be my least favorite park in baseball, place is depressing. The Rays might be feeling a little depressed if the standings stay as they are now. Tampa is a game back of a wildcard at the moment, in what is a furious battle in the American League East.
Meanwhile, the Indians have a little bit of breathing room in the AL Central with a 4-game lead over the Royals. The Royals, who are barely over .500, don’t deserve to be looking at a place in the postseason, but the division has not been it’s best in 2017. Heck, the Royals have been throwing away golden opportunities to seize the occasion. However, they’re 2-8 in their last ten games and watching the window close and go bye-bye.
The Indians rallied to defeat the Rockies, 4-1, on Tuesday, and then the Rockies returned the favor as they came back on the Indians. Kluber was sharp as ever and has turned into a near automatic out for hitters this season. While Kluber has been a flamethrower, a guy that could be a major x-factor for the Indians going forward into the postseason is Danny Salazar.
Salazar was dealing with a shoulder injury early on this season, and his numbers were showing it, but since he’s returned there have been no faults in his game. Salazar will get the start at The Trop, while the Rays counter with Blake Snell. Get our Indians vs. Rays pick below.
Cleveland Indians vs. Tampa Bay Rays Pick
Danny Salazar (4-5, 4.32 ERA) vs. Blake Snell (0-6, 4.98 ERA)
The Indians could be a sneaky pick to make it back to the World Series. While everyone can’t get over the Yankees, Red Sox, and Astros, the Indians may play the spoiler role again. With Kluber on fire, and a lift from a couple other members from the rotation they’re going to be tough to beat. Salazar has been on fire in his return, compiling an ERA of 1.35 in his last three outings. Not many runs and not too many base runners either. He’s allowed an average of just 0.65 runners on per inning. In total, Salazar has given up 3 runs in 20 innings since his return.
People may diminish the return of Salazar to the Indians’ rotation, but if he keeps this up he’s going to be a deadly weapon. I would put their starters, along with the bullpen, ahead of anyone else in the American League. Don’t forget about the bullpen, a unit that is just behind the Red Sox with a 2.97 ERA.
Yes, the Rays and Red Sox ERA out of the starters is better as it stands now, but Salazar owns a 4.32 ERA, which is inflated due to the outings he was making with an injured shoulder in May. Snell has allowed 3 runs in each of his last four starts. He boasts an ERA of 5.02 with a 1.50 WHIP and .347 OBA at home. Like I said in my NFL article for tonight, I am scaling back my bet size in August-September before the postseason begins. Nevertheless, I am not shy of pulling the trigger on the Indians tonight.
PICK: INDIANS (-140)