MLB Series Betting Cleveland at Detroit

MLB Series Betting Cleveland at Detroit

First place in the AL Central Division is on the line this holiday weekend in the Motor City with Cleveland visiting Detroit for three games


2007-05-25

First place in the AL Central Division is on the line this holiday weekend in the Motor City with Cleveland visiting Detroit for three games, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The latter two will be nationally televised. These teams have been battling back and forth since opening day and have been sparkling since April 25. Detroit has the second best record in all of major league baseball since that date at 18-8 and the Indians are right behind at 18-10. These will be the first of 18 games between these clubs.

With the teams separated only by the fact Cleveland has played one fewer game, they are among the best bets in all of betting baseball. Detroit is second in units won at +9.6 and the Tribe is right on the trail at +9.3 units of profit. These also happen to be the two most prolific scoring teams in 2007; the Tigers first at 5.7 runs per game and Cleveland second at 5.6 RPG.

Cleveland's mental preparation may have suffered leading up to this pertinent series, having lost two of three at Kansas City, winning decidedly 10-3 in finale. The Indians have a line-up more loaded a dozen college kids in a Ford Focus. The expected contributions from Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner are just starting to materialize, as first baseman Ryan Garko, Victor Martinez and even SS Jhonny Peralta are all hitting the horsehide with reckless abandon. Cleveland has played all the other teams in the AL Central and is ready. "It's the first time we play them, two months into the MLB betting season," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "But anytime you're within your division, I think it is all the more important. It is no different with Detroit. Obviously, there will be a little bit more emphasis on this because of where we are right now and where they are right now." The Indians will open the series with 13-3 record against the money line after two or more consecutive Overs this baseball betting season.

Detroit lost the first game to the Angels but took the series with two wins, including a 12-0 white-washing in a matinee on Thursday. The catalyst for the Detroit hitting engine running so smoothly is Magglio Ordonez who has been unmerciful to opposing pitchers at the plate lately, going 14-for-28 with four homers, 13 runs and eight RBIs during a seven-game hitting streak. Gary Sheffield's bat is starting to come around, making these Tigers even more dangerous. His experience is in harmony with manager Jim Leyland about playing these types of games in May. "We're not just looking at Cleveland," Detroit's Gary Sheffield told the Tigers' official Web site. "We're looking at the whole division. It's a tough division. We know that. Regardless of how well teams are playing right now, we know that this is the toughest division." Detroit is 18-3 against the money line after scoring 10 runs or more.

In the first encounter a pair of veteran pitchers meet, each understanding their own personal limitations. Paul Byrd, with his Gaylord Perry wind-up, (if you are under 40, Google time) even looks like an old school pitcher. Byrd maximizes what his 36-year old arm still had left. He changes speeds very effectively and is the perfect number five starter at this point of his career. He keeps his team in the game and chews up innings, as noted he has pitched at least six innings in every 2007 start. Byrd is 4-1 with 3.94 ERA and has only issued three walks all season and has better then 8-1 strikeout to walk ratio. Most birds find a place to rest at night unfortunately this Byrd has been restless with 2-13 mark against the ML in road games in night games over the last two seasons. (Team's Record) Byrd is 6-2 with 2.74 ERA against the Tigers since 1997.

Nate Robertson will face this highly charged Indians line-up. The Detroit lefty has been continually up in the zone the last three outings, surrendering 27 hits in less than 15 innings of work. His breaking pitches in particular have flattened out, lacking the usual snap. Robertson is 4-3 on the season; however has inflated 6.75 ERA in his last three starts. This left-hander has been anything but crafty with 6-17 record against the ML when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons. (Team's Record) Lifetime he is 2-3 with a 5.00 ERA in 11 career starts against Cleveland.

Game 1 StatFox Edge: Tigers and Over

This will be the marquee pitching match-up of the series with CC. Sabathia taking on the Tigers Justin Verlander. The Tribe's ace is 6-1 with 3.51 ERA and Cleveland has fancied a 9-1 record in all 10 of his starts this season. The 6'7 lefthander is off his shortest stint of the season lasting five innings as Seattle roughed him up for eight hits and a walk, but he limited the damage to a mere run, and struck out four. Sabathia reached 1,000 strikeouts for his career in his 195th start. He is the fastest Indians player to reach that mark since ‘Sudden' Sam McDowell did so in his 169th game 30 years ago. The still very youthful Verlander is quickly establishing himself as the Detroit ace. The Virginia native is 6-1 with superb 2.68 ERA. The right-hander can ring up triple digits on the radar gun, yet has only struck out more then six batters once this year. He has shown the uncanny ability to adept to the given situation on the mound and deliver the necessary results without loading up on pitch counts. The Tigers are 7-2 when he takes the ball. He will be facing a line-up that has registered double digits in hit counts 9 of last 12 games coming into the series and posted less then eight just one in this stretch. Last season, Sabathia went 0-3 in three starts against Detroit, but his ERA against them was just 2.45. This game is part of the Fox Saturday baseball betting package and Cleveland is 12-4 in day ball.

Game 2 StatFox Edge: Indians

The series concludes on ESPN Sunday Night baseball betting with one of het electric arms that has burst unto the scene. Fausto Carmona was jerked around last year by the Indians front office, starting, relieving and being sent to Triple-A. This year they have put him in the starting rotation, which is big reason why Cleveland is near the top of the division lead. Carmona is 5-0 since losing his initial start against the White Sox and in his last five outings his ERA is extraordinary 1.38. "You can't believe how much his sinker moves. He could pitch a whole game with just that one pitch." - Said catcher Victor Martinez on an earlier performance against Minnesota. All the 24-year needed was an opportunity and he is making the most of it. Mike Maroth will the hurler for Detroit coming back from elbow problems and has been the perfect fit to replace Kenny Rogers. The finesse pitcher is 3-1 with a 4.94 ERA. He needs to adjust as he goes through opposing batting orders, since his best pitch is the change-up. His control is important, because if opponents can sit on the change, he's going to be tattooed. Detroit batters are averaging 6.1 runs a game in Maroth's starts accounting for him being 7-1 as starter. (Tigers record) Decided edge for Cleveland to wrap up series.

Game 3 StatFox Edge: Indians

Last season Cleveland lost 13 of 19 games to Detroit, including seven of 10 at Comerica Park. As good as the starting pitching can be for both teams, they are each really swinging the lumber. If any starter struggles the bullpen is no guarantee to put out the fire. The Indians are 11-13 on the road and the guys down in the pen have a high 5.13 ERA in the visiting uniforms. Detroit has had a fair share of injuries and ineffectiveness from their bullpen with 5.22 ERA and just 9-9 record. Cleveland is 27-17 OVER in all games this season and 16-7 OVER on the road. The Tigers are 18-5 OVER in home games in 2007 campaign, plus 7-0 OVER in home games with a struggling bullpen whose ERA is over 6.00 the last 10 games this season. From a standpoint of need, this is big series for the Tribe who are in likely toughest scheduling stretch of the MLB betting season. After leaving Detroit, three games at first place Boston, before heading home to play these same Tigers four times. If these games can match the last second drama of the NBA Eastern Finals matching the same two cities, this ought to be a very entertaining weekend.

Sportsbook.com series odds: Detroit -145, Cleveland +115

StatFox Edge series pick: Indians


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