The Detroit Tigers have finally made their way to
first place in the AL Central. Now, can they hold on to it when they finish up
a three-game series with the Indians in Cleveland Thursday night? And who do we
like for our free MLB pick for Thursday?
Cleveland took the opener of this series Tuesday 3-2, but
Detroit got things back to even Wednesday with a 5-3 decision. So the Tigers
have won 14 of their last 17 games to grab a share of the lead in the AL
The Indians, on the other hand, have lost eight of their
Both games in this series have stayed UNDER on the totals,
as have six of the eight games in the season series between these two teams.
So Detroit, at 53-45, is tied for first in the Central with
the White Sox, while the Indians, at 49-49, sit in third place, four games
Cleveland is also 4.5 games behind the A's and Angels in the
battle for the two AL Wild-Card spots.
The Indians have been a little cold offensively recently,
scoring more than three runs in just one of their last 11 games. They've scored
exactly three runs their last four games.
The Tigers will go for the series victory Thursday by
sending Justin Verlander (11-5, 2.42) to the mound against Cleveland's Zach
McAllister (4-2, 3.21)
Verlander is 14-for-20 on quality starts this season, and
the Tigers are 13-7 in Verlander's starts. Also, the OVERS/UNDERS have gone a lopsided 5-15
in games Verlander has started.
Most recently, Verlander held the White Sox to two runs on
four hits through eight innings, and over his last three starts, he's allowed
just three ER on 11 hits in his last 25 innings. So, he comes into Thursday's
game on a roll.
In his only start this season vs. the Indians back in May, Verlander held the Tribe to two runs on six hits through eight innings,
although Detroit lost that game 2-1.
McAllister, meanwhile, is only four-for-nine on quality
starts this season, but Cleveland has won six of his nine starts. Most recently
McAllister gave up three ER on five hits through 7 2/3 innings vs. Baltimore,
and over his last three starts he's given up four ER on 12 hits in 19 1/3
innings. So he too has been pretty good lately.
In his only start this year vs. the Tigers back in May, McAllister gave up two runs on eight hits through six-plus innings of a 4-2
Tigers vs. Indians
Betting Odds and Trends
As of Thursday morning, the best price we could find MLB odds makers offering on the
Tigers was the -160 at Matchbook, while the Indians could be played at
+160 at a couple different baseball betting outlets. But that number on Detroit
was steadily rising.
Detroit could also be gotten at +103 on the run line at
And most online sportsbooks are listing the total on
Thursday's game at 7.5.
In early betting on Thursday's game, about 70 percent of play
on the side was coming in on Detroit, and about 55 percent of action on the
total was coming in on the OVER.
The Indians are a .500 team overall this season, but they're
10 games over .500, 39-29, vs. right-handed starters.
Free MLB Pick
sub-.500 ball most of this season, the Tigers are finally on a bit of a roll. So
while we're not big fans of giving the big price with Verlander, we'll take
Detroit and get down early, before the price gets too high.