AL Central Stand-off: Cleveland Indians at Detroit Tigers

The AL Central division-leading Detroit Tigers (65-58) host a critical series against the 2nd place Cleveland Indians (62-58) starting tonight at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. With Cleveland just 1.5 games back of Detroit in the AL Central, and with 3 games in hand coming into tonight’s match-up, this 3-game weekend series should make for fine options for betting on MLB Baseball at one of the top sportsbooks reviewed here, as no doubt both teams will anxious to pick up any wins possible, especially at the expense of a division rival.

Cleveland comes into this match-up with a pair of wins, and a 7-3 record over the past 10, while Detroit is beginning to feel the pressure of playing atop the tight AL Central division, and have lost 4 of their last 6 outings including dropping 2 games in a 3-game set at Cleveland just over a week ago. However, Detroit simply owns the series between these two clubs when it comes to playing at Comerica Park, winning 17 games in the last 20 meetings there.

The starting pitching match-up for tonight’s game features a quality duel between Detroit’s Max Scherzer (12-7, 4.37 ERA) and Cleveland’s Josh Tomlin (12-5, 3.97 ERA).

Interestingly enough, Scherzer was the last Tiger to beat the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park back on June 16th, to take 2-of-3 games in that series stretching June 14-16. While he’s struggled away against the Indians lifetime (2-3, 5.15 ERA), he’s been outstanding at home, posting a 2-0 record with a 2.13 ERA in two starts.

Josh Tomlin on the other hand looks to improve further after getting his first win in 5 starts. He pitched 6 1/3 innings with only 1 run allowed in a 3-1 win over Minnesota on August 13th, and has allowed just 4 hits in three of his last for outings. He looks on track for having a good outing tonight however, so long as the Indians bats can do a better job figure out Max Scherzer at Comerica Park, and get him a little run support.

Betting Lines for Cleveland vs. Detroit: sportsbook backs Detroit and Max Scherzer as a favorite to win tonight, giving up -137 odds on the money line while Josh Tomlin and the Cleveland Indians are at +127 odds to win on the road.

Cleveland gets 1.5 runs at -165 odds, while Detroit gives up 1.5 runs at +145 odds. The over/under of 9 runs (-110 odds either way) seems to give notion that while Scherzer gets support, he also gives up runs regardless of the final outcome.

Our Pick to Win: We’re hungry for another underdog wager tonight, and with Tomlin and the Indians storming up the AL Central behind Detroit, we’ll put a small wager down on Cleveland to secure a win at +127 odds, hopefully making us look good on Friday.

Players to Watch, Detroit:

Miguel Cabrera, 1B and Alex Avila, C – Cabrera is batting .397 with 12 RBIs during a 15-game hitting streak, and Avila has hit .426 with three homers and 11 RBIs in August. These two hitters continue to be the heart of the Detroit offense, and Tomlin would do best to pitch carefully against them during their hot spell

Players to Watch, Cleveland:

Asdrubal Cabrera, SS – The other Cabrera in this game is hitting .300 in August with 3 homers and 13 RBIs. In his last outing against Scherzer, he went 3-for-6 with a home run.

Carlos Santana, C – While he’s hitting .286 in August with 3 home runs and 13 RBIs, he’s 0-for-6 lifetime against Scherzer, and 7-for-35 (.200) against Detroit this season. Being the only other power hitter this year aside Cabrera, he needs to step up tonight to help put runs on the board against a heavy-hitting Tiger offense.

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