Detroit Tigers vs. Cleveland Indians Preview and Pick

Detroit Tigers (83-68) -120, o/u 9 at Cleveland Indians (88-62), 7:05 pm Eastern Tuesday
by Zman of

The surging Cleveland Indians look to put the finishing touches on an American League Central Division crown when they host the Detroit Tigers for the middle game of a three-game set at Jacobs Field Tuesday night.

Cleveland, winners of 18 of its last 23 games, rallied from a 5-2 eighth-inning deficit Monday night and won the series opener 6-5 on a Casey Blake homer in the bottom of the 11th. So the Indians now lead the Central by 5 games over second-place Detroit.

The Tigers, who had won five games in a row before Monday night, also fell
3 games back of the New York Yankees in the AL wild-card race.

The Tribe is now also in a race for home-field advantage in the American League playoffs. Cleveland is now just a game and a half back (as are the Los Angeles Angels) of the Boston Red Sox for the best record in the American League.

The Indians lead the season series with Detroit ten games to six this year, with the o/u going 10-6.

Justin Verlander (17-5, 3.47) gets the start Tuesday night for the Tigers vs. Jake Westbrook (5-9, 4.38) for Cleveland.

Verlander has been lights out recently; in his last four starts, V has allowed just three ER and 29 baserunners in 28 2/3 IP. Detroit went 4-0 in those starts, the o/u 1-3. On the season, the Tigers are 21-8 in Verlander’s starts, the o/u 17-10.

But in four starts vs. the Tribe this season, Verlander has been clipped for 18 ER and 35 baserunners in 22 IP. Detroit is 1-3 in those starts, the o/u 4-0.

Westbrook has given up nine ER and 32 baserunners in his last 18 2/3 IP. Cleveland has lost his last three starts, and is 11-11 in Westbrook’s starts this year, the o/u a somewhat surprising 6-15.

Westbrook has started twice this season vs. the Tigers, allowing five ER and 19 baserunners in 14 IP. The Indians are 1-1 in those games, the o/u 1-1.

Detroit owns a .344 team OBP this season, which ranks sixth-best in the majors, and is averaging 5.5 runs per game.

Cleveland ranks seventh with its .343 team OBP, and is averaging 5.0 RPG.

The Tigers bullpen has allowed six ER and 22 baserunners in its last 15 1/3 IP. But four of those ER came in 3 1/3 IP Monday night.

The Indians pen has given up just two ER on 12 baserunners in its last 11 1/3 IP.

The o/u is 76-66 in Detroit games this season, 69-76 in Cleveland games and 36-37 at Jacobs Field, where games are averaging 10.0 RPG.

Zman’s Pick: With Justin Verlander being lights out lately, how can we not take the under here? Most sportsbooks are carrying the total at 9 under -120. Good luck!