Cleveland Indians vs. Detroit Tigers
The plot in the American League Central thickens as the Cleveland Indians and the Detroit Tigers meet once again at Progressive Field on Thursday. The Tigers are -180 favorites over the Indians with an over/under run total set at 7.5.
The Cleveland Indians sent a message at the trade deadline that they were in it to win it and in the first two games of this series they have sent a message to the division leading Tigers that they aren’t going away anytime soon. On Wednesday Jason Kipnis went five for five with a home run, three RBI’s, and he scored four times, Travis Hafner had two hits, and Kosuke Fukudome had three hits as the Indians banged out 18 hits and 10 runs on the night. On the mound newly acquired Ubaldo Jimenez did exactly what Cleveland hoped as he allowed just six hits and three runs while striking out six over eight innings of work to get his first win as a member of the Indians. For the series finale Cleveland gives the ball to Fausto Carmona who has allowed four runs in each of his last two starts. For the season Carmona has allowed 137 hits and 75 earned runs while striking out 70 over 130 innings of work.
The Detroit Tigers are the leaders in the American League Central but if they are swept by the Indians on Thursday they will leave Cleveland with just a one game lead. On Tuesday Wilson Betemit had two hits and drove in two runs, Victor Martinez had a hit and scored, and Miguel Cabrera added a hit as the Tigers scored three runs off of six hits. On the mound Rick Porcello was bombed allowing 11 hits and eight runs over just 3.2 innings to take his seventh loss of the year and David Pauley was less than inspiring allowing six hits and two runs in relief. For Thursday’s game Detroit starts the ace of their staff, Justin Verlander, who has won his last four starts. For the season Verlander has allowed 126 hits and 48 earned runs while striking out 186 in 188 innings of work.
Cleveland is 3-6 in their last nine games against the A.L. Central, 4-9 in their last 13 home games, and 1-4 in Carmona’s last five home starts. Detroit is 7-1 in their last eight games as a road favorite, 21-11 against the A.L. Central, and 21-5 in Verlander’s last 26 starts against the A.L. Central. Detroit is 2-9 in the last 11 meetings of these two.
I’m taking Verlander and the Tigers to win this one at minus 180.
Detroit Tigers -180 Cleveland Indians