Baseball Picks: Indians at Tigers

The Cleveland Indians are hoping a trip to the Motor City might help cure a season-worst slump that has seen the team lose 12 of its past 16 games

 

Fresh off a three-game sweep at the hands of the New York Yankees, life doesn’t get any easier for the Cleveland Indians Friday as they kick-off a weekend set vs. the AL Central-leading Detroit Tigers.

 

Cleveland is 2.5 games back of Detroit and the Tribe has struggled on the road this season, posting a 12-17 record. Today’s starter, Ubaldo Jimenez (4-3, 4.83 ERA) has been Cleveland’s most reliable starter away from home going 2-0 in five starts with a 2.13 ERA but he’ll face Tigers ace Justin Verlander (7-4, 3.70 ERA) and current MLB odds show the Tigers as a -203 favorite with a total of 8 Over (-105).

 

Verlander has won three in a row after losing back-to-back games May 11-16 but he is still looking to find that Cy Young groove against his division rival. In two starts vs. Cleveland this year, Verlander gave up eight runs on 16 hits through 10 innings and walked six. His numbers against the Indians were much better during three starts in 2012 but the Tigers were still only 1-2 in those games and today we’ll see if J-V deserves this kind of hefty price tag.

 

KILLER TRENDS

Throughout the past six seasons Verlander has shown little mercy to struggling ball clubs and the Indians certainly fit that profile in today’s matchup. When facing a team who have lost four-plus consecutive games the Tigers have a 17-1 record with their ace as a favorite and when the line is greater than -125 the mark is a perfect 17-0. Click here for a complete rundown of this perfect profile at KillerSports.com:

 

SDQL: starter=Justin Verlander and line<=-125 and o:streak<=-4 and date>=20060522

 

The Tigers are also 20-0 in the first game of a home series, as long as they are not riding a three-plus game winning streak and the SDQL text for that trend is as follows:

 

SDQL: team=Tigers and H and SG=1 and streak<3 and date>=20120706

 

Totals in this profile produced 14 overs, 5 unders and a push (74-percent) and Detroit outscored its opponents by an average of 4.4 runs per game (RPG) with just two of the wins coming by a one-run margin. Online sportsbooks offer the Tigers at plus-money on the run line and for our first pick of the weekend we’ll back Detroit to win by at least two runs.

Pick: Take the Tigers -1.5 (+104)

 

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