Detroit Tigers -121 at Cleveland Indians +111 (Total: 9)
Doug Fister vs. Ubaldo Jimenez
You know how all the experts and baseball fans everywhere have been WAITING for the Detroit Tigers to finally snap out of it and start playing like the team expected to run away with the Central and contend for a World Series crown? Well, you can finally stop waiting and wondering. The Tigers, after a half-season malaise, have finally arrived at the party.
Detroit used a weekend sweep of previously first-place Chicago to storm out to a 1 ½ game lead in the AL Central, and are now looking to knock out another division rival, Cleveland, in similar fashion this week. They have won six in a row and eight of their last ten, including series wins over Baltimore and Los Angeles Angels. They are averaging well over five runs a contest, and if you discard the odd 13-0 loss to the Angels, it is closer to six.
Cleveland meanwhile is in a complete free fall. They have dropped four of their last five, seven of ten, and have been held to three runs or less in nine of their twelve games since the All Star break. A season that once looked promising has a chance to devolve into one in which they are sellers at the trade deadline if things go poorly this series against Detroit. Heading into the series they trail the Tigers by four full games.
The Indians are going to need a better performance from enigmatic Ubaldo Jimenez if they have any chance or keeping up with Detroit tonight. The one time All Star Game starter has fallen on hard times the last few seasons. This year he is currently 8-9 with a 5.46 ERA. That’s not going to get it done in the big leagues. In his last three starts, he’s been dreadful, with a WHIP over 2.00 and an ERA of 9.62.
Meanwhile, the Tigers have been getting pretty good pitching to complement their explosive offense. Doug Fister takes the ball tonight, fresh off another good outing. He is a dominating 3-0 with a 0.86 WHIP in his last three starts. On paper, the pitching (as well as overall team) matchup seems like a mismatch. However, the Vegas line is relatively tight. That smells like a good value pick to me.
I’m making the Tigers to WIN my official pick tonight, but also like them on the -1.5 runline at +150.
Free Pick: Detroit Tigers to WIN -121