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The Cleveland Indians have continued to trend forward over the last couple of weeks pushing their way into playoff contention in the wildcard picture. Meanwhile, the Detroit Tigers have struggled tremendously to find any level of consistency on the field, giving way to what could be a favorable matchup for the Indians.
Tigers trekking south in a hurry
Through the first half of the year, the Tigers have limped through the campaign holding one of the worst marks in the majors. They have yet to have any type of stability primarily from their offense, which has been among the least productive in the league. The Tigers currently rank 29th in runs scored, last in hits, 29th in home runs, 28th in batting average, and 29th in slugging percentage up to this point. It has been a large chunk of why the team has found themselves well out of the playoff picture with any hope of being even a long shot at this point in time. The Tigers are currently 27.5 games behind the Minnesota Twins for the AL Central division title. It has been nothing but an uphill battle for the team throughout the year with their current skid dropping eight out of their last 10 games played including their last two straight.
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) July 16, 2019
Things haven’t fared better with their pitching staff as they have had their fair share of problems along the way. Their starters have struggled to provide consistency with them being 22nd in ERA and 26th in opposing batting average. Right-hander Spencer Turnbull has had his hand in those issues as he holds a 3-8 record with a 3.59 ERA. Turnbull is coming off a bumpy outing that saw him give up four runs on four hits including a home run and walk three batters in just 3.0 innings of work against the Kansas City Royals. The Tigers have struggled with him on the mound dropping their last six games that he has pitched and nine out of the past 10 contests overall. With the matchup against the surging Indians, it could pose too big of a task to overcome on the road
Indians streaking into playoff contention
In the last couple of weeks, the Indians have turned it up another notch thrusting themselves into the mix as a legitimate threat in the AL wildcard picture. It has become a neck and neck race for the second wildcard spot alongside the Oakland Athletics. The Indians have won eight out of their last 10 games, including their past three straight contests. Cleveland has been one of the hottest teams in the majors that have had strong play from their core group in the process. They have seen their bats pick up this month. That has seen third baseman Jose Ramirez put forth a strong month as he’s batting .316 with three home runs, nine RBI, and nine runs scored this month. It has been an uphill battle for him this year as he’s struggling to find consistency at the plate hitting just .226, but this uptick in play is quite an encouraging sign of what may lie ahead of him over the rest of the second half of the season.
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) July 16, 2019
The Indians have been led primarily by the production behind the bat of first-time All-Star first baseman Carlos Santana, who leads the team hitting .289 with 21 home runs and 54 RBI. Santana is off to a career-best pace with the trajectory to record 37 home runs and 94 RBI. Although his production hasn’t been standout this month, he’s hitting .294 with three home runs, four RBI, and nine runs scored. It has been more than Santana during this recent surge offensively as the Indians have notched at least four runs in all but once in their eight wins in the last 10 games played. The Indians are turning to right-hander Mike Clevinger, who holds a 2-2 record with a 3.99 ERA and a .175 opposing batting average in his first six starts of the season. Outside of his two disastrous outings where he allowed 12 runs combined, he has given up just one run over 23.0 innings pitched. With a matchup against the Tigers’ lackluster offense, it sets up for things to work out greatly in the Indians’ favor at home.
- Indians are 5-1 in Clevinger’s last six starts against a team with a losing record.
- Indians are 8-2 in Clevinger’s last 10 home starts.
- Indians are 4-1 in Clevinger’s last five Wednesday starts.
- Tigers are 0-4 in Turnbull’s last four starts against a team with a winning record.
- Tigers are 0-6 in Turnbull’s last six starts.
- Tigers are 0-6 in Turnbull’s last six starts on grass.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Indians have been playing some of their best baseball of the season with a favorable matchup against the struggling Tigers. This should see them get the best of Turnbull, who is coming off a rocky start against the Royals. Detroit is also 7-25 in the last 32 meetings in Cleveland.
Prediction: Cleveland -260
Full-Game Total Pick
The Indians are coming off scoring eight runs in each of the last two games with a matchup against a struggling arm in Turnbull. This should set the table for another high-scoring affair on Wednesday night. The over is 3-1-1 in the last five meetings between these two ballclubs.
Prediction: Over 9