Los Angeles Angels at Cleveland Indians Pick 8/3/19
Los Angeles Angels (56-55) at Cleveland Indians (64-45)
When: 7 p.m., Saturday, August 3
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland
Moneyline: LAA Off/CLE Off (Check BetOnline)
Runline: Angels Off/Tribe Off
Starting Pitchers: TBA vs. Adam Plutko (3-2, 4.83 ERA, 1.15 WHIP)
What Tampa Bay started has spread to Southern California, as the Angels plan to go with the opener strategy on Saturday before turning the game over to Felix Pena (8-3, 4.66 ERA, 1.20 WHIP) in the middle innings. Whether Los Angeles has better luck with the opener this time around remains to be seen, as the Angels paid the price for the strategy on Friday night when Cleveland unloaded on opener Taylor Cole, who allowed the first five Indians to reach base and got just one out before being lifted with Cleveland already ahead 3-1. The Indians found the going tougher against Dillon Peters, managing only three hits against him in the remaining 7.2 innings, but the damage had already been done. If the Indians’ bats get off to another flying start, Pena will come in too late to matter.
New Look Tribe
Except for possibly Houston, nobody improved their chances as much as Cleveland did at the trade deadline. Not only did the Indians trade away a clubhouse issue in Trevor Bauer, but they turned him into Yasiel Puig. What’s happened is that an already solid team is coming into its own quite nicely. Cleveland is 14-5 since a series against Minnesota, and while the Tribe did most of that damage against Detroit, Kansas City, and Toronto, they can’t help who is on their schedule, and beating up on those clubs will make a world of difference in their efforts to catch the Twins. The Indians seem to have themselves set up well for the run to the postseason, and that’s bad news for the rest of the American League.
Plutko Needs Power!
Adam Plutko has pitched reasonably well when he gets literally any run support from the Cleveland offense, as his past two instances where the Indians lost with him on the mound were shutouts, a 1-0 loss to Kansas City and a 13-0 loss at Baltimore. Otherwise, he has emerged as a solid, capable starter who can handcuff a foe and give his team a chance to win. Against the Royals in a recent Cleveland victory, Plutko didn’t get a win, but he did last long enough to give the Tribe a chance to pick up the result, which they did in part because he scattered seven hits and the Indians squeaked out a victory.
When the Tribe gets Plutko some support, though, the game hasn’t been close. Only three of the seven victories have been decided by two runs or less, and only Tampa Bay has won against Plutko without relying on the shutout path.
For whatever reason, Cleveland has been nothing short of outstanding against the Angels over the past few seasons, having won 19 of 23 against Los Angeles and boasting a 13-1 record at home against the team from Southern California. This season, Cleveland and LA have only met once, the 7-3 Indians victory.
- The Angels are 1-7 in their past eight against the AL Central
- The Angels are 2-6 in their previous eight games overall.
- The Indians have won six of Plutko’s past seven starts.
- The Indians have won nine of their past 12 games.
- The under is 10-2 in the Angels’ past 12 Game 2s of a series.
- The under is 6-1 in Plutko’s past seven Game 2 starts.
Temperatures should be mild, and the first pitch in Cleveland is scheduled for clear skies and a 73-degree evening.
This situation isn’t one you need to overthink. Cleveland is the team playing better baseball right now, did a lot more to help itself at the deadline and gets to play at home in this series, a series where the Indians have dominated the matchup. Until the Angels show that they can beat Cleveland, I’m not picking against them doing so at home. Give me the Tribe to keep up their success against Los Angeles.
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