It’s been a humbling last few days with my free MLB picks as I am ice cold in losing each of my last six picks. Yikes.
I took last night off to regroup, but that came on the heels of a second consecutive 0-3 night.
Rather than explain the losses, let’s just put them in the rear view mirror and take on tonight action!
Season Record: 20-15-1
Now let’s check out this free MLB pick featuring the Indians vs. Tigers from Comerica Park in Detroit!
Indians vs. Tigers Betting Odds
- Indians (-215)
- Tigers (+196)
- Indians -1.5 (-140)
- Tigers +1.5 (+120)
- Over 8.5 (+100)
- Under 8.5 (-120)
Indians vs. Tigers MLB Pick Breakdown
The Indians will turn to right-hander Zach Plesac for this one tonight as the 25-year-old enjoys an excellent 2020 campaign this far – at least on the field.
After turning in a 3.81 ERA in his 21 starts last season, Plesac has worked to a 2.20 ERA/3.81 FIP while displaying elite command in the form of just 0.66 walk per nine innings. Home run issues have crept up at times as he also owns a 1.54 HR/9 on the season and Plesac has benefited from a complete unsustainable 99.1% left-on-base rate this season, so we’ll see if he’s in for some regression moving forward.
We did see some regression rear its head in his last start when he allowed five earned runs in his seven innings against the Twins, but it was the long ball that hurt him there as he surrendered three home runs in that one. Prior to that one, however, he hurled 19 innings of two-run ball with just one walk in that time.
The Tigers have the worst starter’s ERA in baseball this season at 6.41 and one of the reasons why is the work of right-hander Michael Fulmer who makes his ninth start of the season tonight.
Fulmer is on a strict three-inning limit coming off Tommy John surgery, but it’s been a struggle to even get that deep into games. He’s sporting a 9.27 ERA/7.27 FIP on the season and the advanced numbers back those figures up with authority.
According to Statcast, Fulmer ranks in the bottom six percentile in exit velocity, hard-hit rate, xwOBA, xBA, xERA and xSLG. He also enters this one coming off allowing nine earned runs over his last two starts spanning just five innings while he’s surrendered eight earned runs over his last 5.2 frames.
He’s truly been perhaps the worst starting pitcher in baseball this season.
Despite their ability to get to Fulmer this season, it’s largely been a struggle for this Indians offense this season.
Against right-handed pitching, the Indians rank 22nd with a .306 wOBA on the season while they haven’t hit for a ton of power in the form of a 26th-ranked .143 ISO on the season off righties.
That said, this offense is coming in riding a 10-run offensive explosion last night and have largely pummelled Tigers pitching over the last several seasons. All 10 of last night’s runs came off right-handed pitching against Casey Mize and Jordan Zimmermann.
So while they generally have scuffled off righties this season, they’ve clearly hit Fulmer well and continue to terrorize Tigers pitching.
While the Indians have had their issues with right-handed pitching, the Tigers have been even worse.
The Tigers enter this one ranked 28th with a .290 wOBA on the season against right-handed pitching and have had major strikeout issues against righties in the form of a league-worst 28.2% K-rate against them.
It was actually a big surprise to see them even score three runs off Shane Bieber in last night’s contest, and while Bieber has piled up strikeouts all season long, they did also strike out 10 times against him.
While they’ve been able to hit for decent power in the form of a 19th-ranked .160 ISO against righties this season, run production has just been far too scarce off right-handers here in 2020.
Another area where the Tribe have a sizeable advantage tonight is in the bullpen.
Entering this one, the Indians’ bullpen ranks fourth with a 3.49 ERA on the season, but also first with a league-best 3.60 FIP. They have a nice combination of strikeouts – with a 10.16 K/9 – and command – with a 3.07 BB/9 while they have kept the ball in the yard at a 0.90 HR/9 clip this season, good for fifth-best in the league.
That said, it’s a group that hasn’t fared well of late with a 4.85 ERA over the last seven days, but on the whole this has truly been one of the best bullpens in baseball this season.
The Tigers’ bullpen was pitching quite well earlier in the season and was looking like a group that was going to put last year’s terrible results behind them, but this is also a group that’s now struggle for some time.
On the season, the Tigers now rank 26th with a 5.34 ERA while they have posted a 6.75 mark over the last week. While their 2.99 BB/9 is an excellent mark, this group has been rocked by the home run ball in the form of a 1.56 HR/9 on the season and hasn’t piled up many strikeouts in the form of an 8.20 K/9 on the season.
At the end of the day, this group has worked to a 22nd-ranked 0.5 fWAR on the season, but have also thrown the seventh-most innings in baseball with 214 innings pitched on the season.
Indians vs. Tigers MLB Pick
If you couldn’t tell throughout the article, the Indians should be winning this game with ease.
Michael Fulmer’s season-long struggles have been cringe-worthy and the Tigers’ brutal bullpen is going to get a lot of work in this one as well.
The starting pitching advantage and bullpen advantage are huge for the Indians in this one and their poor offense versus righties will be mitigated by a brutal Tigers pitching staff in this one.
While the odds aren’t the best, I believe the Tribe stomp the Tigers again tonight, so let’s take Cleveland on the run line in this one.