The Cleveland Indians look to bounce back today behind Corey Kluber after dropping a 4-1 decision to the Tampa Bay Rays. Don’t look now, but the Rays are playing some pretty good baseball this season, notably of late. The Rays are currently in the midst of a 8-2 stretch and are 7-1 in their last eight matchups. They come in as big underdogs against Kluber, who burst on the scene last season with a dazzling display of pitching. It seems like pitchers like Justin Verlander’s run has come, but Kluber looks to enter us into a new era that is led by him and other young talented pitchers like Dallas Keuchel. There are several guys that don’t have that brand name yet, but maybe in a couple of years everyone will know who they are. Kluber is going to have to keep building off his 2014 campaign, though. This season thus far he has just been okay. He was flat out dominating hitters last season and certainly deserved the Cy Young, but Kluber hasn’t been worthy of that award as we are getting to the halfway point. He faces a hot Rays team on Saturday that has been playing under the radar for quite a while now.
Yesterday could have been better, but it could have been worse. Whenever you hear that is usually means somebody broke even. On our pick last night in the Astros and Mariners game it was looking grim earlier with 3 runs scored in the 1st inning, but the funny thing is when that happens the end result isn’t so bad. If I have pitchers mowing through hitters, and I have the UNDER, they’ll get blown up later in the game. It’s probably all in my head, but those kind of games sure can be a headache. In any case, last night ended up being a push, as the Mariners coasted past the Astros 5-2. It could have been better, but a late solo shot in the top of the 8th provided the push instead of a win. Let’s turn our attention to Saturday now and the Rays/Indians matchup.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Cleveland Indians
Erasmo Ramirez (6-2, 4.45 ERA) vs. Corey Kluber (3-8, 3.54 ERA)
There is something wrong with the price in this game. The Indians are comfortable favorites in this game for the fact that Corey Kluber is pitching. The problem is I think the odds makers are setting this price based on what he did last year and not what he has been doing this season. You see it often where the sportsbooks set lines that are a little out of reality, but know that money is going to come pouring in on one side based on a name. Kluber has been doing fine, but I don’t think he should be garnering this price. In his last three starts he posted a 3.60 ERA and 1.25 WHIP, pretty identical to his year long mark.
Erasmo Ramirez isn’t the reason why the Rays are such big underdogs, or it shouldn’t be anyway, because Ramirez has been pitching well enough to give most lineups in the league some troubles. The Indians have really struggling getting runs across the plate, so it isn’t like he is going against a juggernaut offense. His 1.29 ERA in his last three starts indicates he’s been playing well lately, too. His ERA on the road does look bad above 6.00 but that was a result of early starts, in his last two games on the road he allowed only 1 run in total. Given this price of +165 and how hot they have been playing, coupled with the fact that Kluber hasn’t been playing like Cy Young Kluber, there is tremendous value to be had with this pick.
PICK: RAYS TO WIN +165