We took a loss yesterday as the high-value underdog Dodgers were finally subdued by Madison Baumgarner and the San Francisco Giants. I know all losses look dumb in retrospect, but I still think one would be wise to at least take a good second look if the Dodgers present themselves at +150 again. This is definitely a team gathering some positive momentum and beginning to more closely resemble the team everyone expected them to be in 2013.
Meanwhile in the American League, two potential “message” series sweeps could occur today as the Yankees try to finish off a three-game sweep of the rival Orioles and the Tigers try to deliver a big blow to the division-challenging hopes of the plucky Cleveland Indians, who entered the big weekend series hoping to emerge in first place. They now find themselves in danger of falling four games back of the Tigers, and their head-to-head record is to blame. They are a pathetic 2-10 against Detroit and have lost seven straight contests. Can they snap that streak today??
Let’s dig inside a pivotal AL Central matchup for today’s free pick.
Detroit Tigers -130 at Cleveland Indians +120 (Total: 8.5)
Doug Fister (6-5, 3.80 ERA) vs. Corey Kluber (6-5, 4.33 ERA)
The Tigers aren’t enormous favorites today, considering they have Doug Fister on the hill and their complete dominance of the Cleveland Indians this season. Perhaps the reason is Fister’s recent struggles. He is 0-1 in his last three starts with a 7.16 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP. He’s lasted just 16.1 innings in the process. Those are pretty shaky numbers…
But then again, his opponent today, Corey Kluber, has been almost identically ineffective. He is 1-1 in his last three starts, but also posted a 7.47 ERA and a 1.72 WHIP. He lasted only 15.1 innings. That’s not a great sign before taking on a powerful Tiger lineup that has had its way with Indians pitching all season long.
With both pitchers struggling of late, I give the slight edge to Fister for the better track record, and a big edge to the Tigers for their overall deeper and more powerful lineup. Fister has a whole slew of All-Stars for teammates (one of which the dubious selection of Justin Verlander, aided by manager Jim Leyland) and I like them to give him some nice run support today against the struggling Kluber. He is just 1-3 with a 7.68 ERA in five career starts against Detroit. I think he’ll face some struggles again today.
Free Picks: Detroit Tigers to WIN -130 & Run TOTAL OVER 8.5