The Detroit Tigers will get another crack at the Cleveland Indians tonight. They have failed to beat them in their last nine attempts. It’s been a lopsided series between the Indians, who last met on June 26th prior to last night, a 9-3 thrashing in favor of the Indians. Last night’s matchup is currently pending, with the Indians up early in that one. Cleveland just recently had a monster winning streak of fourteen-games in a row. The Blue Jays beat them back-to-back to put an end to the fun for the Indians. Cleveland has been partying ever since the Cavs won the NBA Championship, and right into the Indians winning non-stop on the diamond. It came to end for them, but they are still leading the AL Central with a record of 49-32*. If they won last night it’ll be 50-32 and make for their tenth win in a row over the Tigers. It’s a surprising statistic to look at it, as the Tigers are not that bad of a team. The Tigers came into last night with six wins in a row under their belt.
There are holes abound on the Tigers, notably coming out of the rotation. Last night Daniel Norris, a question mark in the rotation started, and tonight Anibal Sanchez takes the hill. By all accounts, Sanchez looks like he has a dead arm. Detroit is in a hard spot with him, they moved him to the bullpen after he couldn’t get it together as a starter. The Tigers have moved him back to the starting rotation, but they’re gambling a bit here. Not that they have any other options. Michael Fulmer has been such a bright spot, a favorite for AL Rookie of the Year. However, beyond Fulmer and Jordan Zimmermann things get dicey in the Detroit rotation.
Zimmermann is now on the disabled list with a neck strain, forcing Sanchez back into a starting role. He made his last appearance on June 30th against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Tribe counter with the ultra-impressive Carlos Carrasco. This guy still isn’t getting much respect, but forget Corey Kluber, Carrasco is the best pitcher on the Indian staff. Get my Tuesday MLB pick below. I hope all of you had a wonderful 4th of July.
Detroit Tigers vs. Cleveland Indians
Anibal Sanchez (5-8, 6.05 ERA) vs. Carlos Carrasco (4-2, 2.56 ERA)
Like most teams who are coming off a big string of wins in a row, after they lose that first game they usually lose another. The Jays were able to send them two losses after fourteen wins straight. Back home now, the Indians are looking to start up another big run against a team they’ve had immense success against. I’m not sure the final result of last night just yet, but it’s beside the point. The Tribe have bulldozed their AL Central rival. With the Tigers in a position where they have to start Sanchez, they may not like the results they get from him tonight. He enters tonight with a 6.05 ERA and an ERA of 8.36 in his last three appearances. Sanchez doesn’t have the arm anymore to go the distance, after around the 3rd inning watch for him to get bombed hard.
Carrasco enters Tuesday night red hot, posting a 1.14 ERA and 0.86 WHIP in his last three games, for one of the greatest stretches of his career. I think we’re at the point of Carrasco taking over for Kluber as the ace of the staff in Cleveland. The price on this game befuddles me a bit, because I see the Indians as a bigger favorite against Anibal Sanchez. Sanchez is not a starter anymore, he’s just trying to survive out there, tossing up juicy meatballs down the middle of the plate. I posit that the Indians are going to roll over the Tigers tonight, so I see a play on -1.5 a good play with a nice price.
PICK: INDIANS -1.5 (+125)