MLB Picks: Cleveland Indians vs. Detroit Tigers

The Cleveland Indians (30-29) and Detroit Tigers (32-26) will open up a three-game American League Central series Friday night at Comerica Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:08 p.m. ET

Cleveland Indians vs. Detroit Tigers 

The Detroit Tigers are 29-8 as home favorites of -175 to -200 the last two-plus seasons
The Detroit Tigers are 29-8 as home favorites of -175 to -200 the last two-plus seasons

Cleveland has lost four games in a row, including a 6-4 setback to the New York Yankees as +162 road underdogs Wednesday, while going OVER the total in three of its last four contests.  “It’s kind of a down time for us right now,” commented Indians outfielder Nick Swisher.  “But I feel like we were in every ballgame.”  The Tribe are 4-12 in their last 16 contests after a stretch of winning 18 of 22 games.  Cleveland is 1-3 as road underdogs of +175 to +200, with the OVER going 4-0 in that situation.

Indians starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez (4-3, 4.83 ERA) picked up a 5-0 home victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in this last effort, allowing four hits over eight shutout innings, while walking a single batter and striking out seven.  The right-hander is 2-0 with a 2.32 ERA in five road appearances, with opposing hitters batting .165 against him.  In 15 career games versus the Tigers, Jimenez has compiled a 5-8 record and 5.19 ERA, including a 11-7 home defeat on May 22.

Detroit has alternated wins and losses over its last six games, as it comes off a 5-2 home victory over the Tampa Bay Rays as -196 home favorites, while going UNDER the total for a second consecutive contest.  The Tigers starting rotation has gone at least six innings in each of the last 13 games, which has resulted in a 2.49 ERA and 114 strikeouts over 94 innings.  Detroit is 29-8 as home favorites of -175 to -200 the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 21-15 in those 36 opportunities.

Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (7-4, 3.70 ERA) has rattled off three consecutive victories, including a 10-3 road win over the Baltimore Orioles last time out, as he allowed three runs and eight hits over seven frames.  The right-hander is 2-2 with a 2.97 ERA in five home starts, surrendering just a single home run in 33.1 combined innings.  In 32 career appearances versus the Indians, Verlander has tallied a 15-14 mark and 4.68 ERA.

Sports bettors will likely back the Tigers due to their 28-6 record in Verlander’s last 34 starts as a favorite of -201 or greater.

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