The Detroit Tigers snapped a five-game losing streak on Sunday to avoid a sweep against the Royals in Kansas City. It was also just their third win in the last 19 games. The Tigers’ offense saved the day with a big performance against Brian Flynn, who got a spot start because of the sudden trade of Homer Bailey to the Athletics.
The Royals had a nice day against Tigers’ starter, Jordan Zimmermann, getting to him for 8 hits and 7 earned runs in 4 innings. It’s been a difficult year for Zimmermann and it didn’t get any easier on Sunday for him. His team got the win, but it wasn’t because of his work. They were just fortunate to run into Flynn throwing up meatballs at the plate.
The Tigers stay within their division to begin the week, as they travel to Cleveland for a meeting with the Indians. They’ll square off for a four-game series, which will take us all the way to Thursday. The Tigers will welcome the Blue Jays on the weekend, while the Indians will play host to the Royals.
Between the Twins series, the Tigers, and next weekend, the Indians have a nice 11-game homestand. They were losers in two of three games against the Twins. Cleveland edged out the Twins on Sunday to get back on the winning track. Shane Bieber, MVP of the All-Star Game, pitched an impressive game to hold the Twins’ offense at bay. The win prevented the Indians from falling to 7.5 games back in the AL Central.
They still have a bit of a hill to climb with a 6.5-game deficit. Four games against the Tigers is a glowing opportunity to put together some wins. The Twins have the Mets, Athletics, and Yankees on tap, so they have a couple of tricky series coming up. Bieber has been a surprise contributor for the Indians this season, and to a lesser degree, Adam Plutko has been valuable in the face of injuries to the rotation. Plutko gets the nod in this one, while Daniel Norris will give it a go for the Tigers. Head below for our free Tigers vs. Indians pick.
Detroit Tigers vs. Cleveland Indians Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
The Tigers are sitting at the bottom of the AL Central with a record of 29-59. Everyone knew this was going to be a tough year for the Tigers, but this has been really bad for them. A record of 3-16 in their most recent games will do that to a team. The Indians were on a nice run before the All-Star break, but the break seemed to stunt their growth with a couple of losses immediately after. Cleveland went on a six-game winning streak with sweeps of the Reds and Royals. They needed that one badly to head into this week with a fresh approach. It wound have stung to get swept by the team they’re gunning for in their division. Plutko was pitching well for the Indians before the break.
He posted an ERA of 3.14 and 0.98 WHIP in his previous three outings to bring his numbers down. With Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco out, Plutko has gotten plenty of looks recently. Kluber is close to returning from a broken arm, as he may be getting a bullpen session soon. With Carrasco out indefinitely, the Indians may still need to depend on Plutko, though. Plutko’s high ERA of 4.95 is accredited to his second start of the season, which resulted in 7 earned runs against the Rays.
He settled down and allowed 2 or less runs in four straight outings. Plutko has surrendered 2 or less runs in three of four outings at home, including a stellar performance against the Yankees. The Tigers exploded for 12 runs yesterday, but I expect them to regress back to their average. They’re 29th in the majors with 3.61 runs per game.
The bullpen has been a major liability for the Tigers this season, too. As a unit, the Detroit relievers hold an ERA of 5.00 for 25th in the major leagues. Conversely, the Indians are 6th with a 3.93 ERA. Daniel Norris hopes to chew up plenty of innings before it gets to the bullpen. He’s been struggling recently, with a 7.41 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in his last three starts. Norris surrendered 6 runs each in two of them. His team has gone 2-14 in their last sixteen games in Cleveland. The runline on the Indians at plus-money looks worth a play on Monday evening at Progressive Field.