Rain in the northeast could really put a damper on what would be an exciting Wednesday night MLB card, but there are still some solid spots to consider targeting.
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CLEVELAND INDIANS VS. DETROIT TIGERS (7:10 P.M. ET)
The Indians have dominated the first two games of this series, scoring eight runs in each game, and outscoring the Tigers 16-6 overall. Wednesday features another huge pitching mismatch in favor of the Indians, who will put Mike Clevinger up against Spencer Turnbull.
After two rough starts in his return from injury, Clevinger has really leveled out in July, with a 0.82 ERA in a pair of starts (11 innings pitched). He’s also been spectacular in three starts at home this season, with a 0.53 ERA (17 innings pitched). Turnbull’s been heading in the opposite direction, with the Tigers losing nine of his last 10 starts, dating back to May 16. Turnbull has given up 14 runs in his last four outings, lasting just 15 total innings.
Cleveland has a slight offensive advantage on the season, with the 20th-ranked offense compared to Detroit’s 29th-ranked, but the Indians have been one of the hotter offenses of late. The bullpen advantage is far more egregious, with the Indians now ranking tops in the majors, and the Tigers looking all the way up from 24th.
Related Bet: CLEVELAND INDIANS VS. DETROIT TIGERSScore 1st and win: CLE (+107)
The Indians struck first on Tuesday with five runs in the second inning of an 8-0 win, and also got on the board first with two runs in the second inning of an 8-6 win on Monday.
Clevinger’s given up one run in 11 innings so far in July, while Turnbull’s given up 14 runs in his last 15 innings. Cleveland should continue running hot in this one offensively, while Clevinger’s been shutting down opposing offenses. This is a nice way to get plus odds on an Indians’ win.
Related Bet: CLEVELAND INDIANS VS. DETROIT TIGERSCLE Team Total: OVER 5.5 (-103)
You get the idea by now. With Cleveland scoring eight runs in each game of the series, and the Tigers allowing eight runs in Turnbull’s last start (and two of his last four), it sets up as a spot for the Indians to keep raking.
MIAMI MARLINS VS. SAN DIEGO PADRES (7:10 P.M. ET)
The Marlins are 2-2 since the All-Star break, putting up a combined 20 runs in their pair of victories. Chris Paddack isn’t an ideal matchup, but has struggled much more on the road this season. Meanwhile, Trevor Richards is on a bad string of starts, but has been getting hit by some of baseball’s hottest offenses — most recently by the Braves, Phillies and Nationals.
Richards’ last win actually came against the Padres in June, when he pitched five scoreless innings, striking out eight and allowing just one hit in San Diego. I trust Richards to put forward a solid performance at home against the Padres’ 21st-ranked offense, which leaves this bet in the hands of the Marlins being able to score. After 12 runs in the series opener, I think it’s worth plus-money to see if the bats can stay hot.
TEXAS RANGERS VS. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (8:05 P.M. ET)
The Rangers may be a strong offense at home, but I put more weight on their inability to hit left-handed pitching. Robbie Ray has allowed significantly less damage to LHBs this season, which is the strong suit of Texas’ lineup. Ray went five innings against the Rangers earlier in the season, giving up just one run in the process.
Jesse Chavez has come undone in the month of July, giving up 12 runs in 10 1/3 innings. Chavez has also been consistently worse at home, with a 5.28 ERA on the season, vs. a 2.65 ERA on the road. Arizona also has a slight bullpen advantage, that could be enhanced by Ray’s ability to go deeper into the game than Chavez. At this price, the Diamondbacks are being undervalued. LHP Alex Young got the start in Texas on Tuesday, coming away with a 9-2 victory. Ray has the potential for similar dominance.
POTENTIAL PLAYS PENDING RAINThese games are unlikely to play due to the weather, but there are some intriguing spots if they wind up getting the games in:
— Philadelphia Phillies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers: LAD -1.5 (-103)
— New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays: NYY (-159)
— Baltimore Orioles vs. Washington Nationals: WAS -1.5 (-139)
— Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays: BOS -1.5 (-136)
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