MLB Odds Preview: Detroit Tigers trek to Cleveland

By: Brad Young | Thursday, April 28, 2011

American League Central rivals Detroit and Cleveland begin a three-game series with Friday’s matchup.  The Tigers enter this series tied for second place with Kansas City despite being a -11 on scoring differential, scoring 104 runs while allowing 115.

The Indians are currently atop the AL Central standings compliments of their stellar 9-2 home ledger.  Cleveland also leads the league in scoring differential at +35, plating a robust 121 runs while yielding 86.

Detroit hurler Max Scherzer has quietly posted a 4-0 ledger and 3.19 ERA during his five starts.  The three-year veteran blanked the Chicago White Sox Sunday as 116 home ‘chalk,’ 3-0, tossing eight scoreless innings on four hits with three walks and seven strikeouts on 104 pitches.

The three runs never seriously threatened the eight-run closing total.  The ‘under’ is now 3-1 Scherzer's previous four starts.  The Tigers have won all five of his starts this season.

Scherzer faced the Indians four times last season, with the Tigers winning just once.  The right-hander tossed a combined 22 innings, surrendering 15 runs (14 earned) on 26 hits (three home runs) with 13 walks and 22 strikeouts.

Detroit won as a 165 home favorite, 5-2, while losing as 111 road ‘chalk,’ 7-4, as a 142 road favorite, 8-2, and as 131 road ‘chalk,’ 4-0.

The ‘under’ prevailed his last two outings versus the Tribe.

Cleveland gives the starting assignment to right-hander Jeanmar Gomez (0-1, 7.36 ERA), hoping he can record his first victory of the season.  The Venezuelan appeared out of the bullpen in Sunday’s setback to Minnesota, tossing three innings of relief and not figuring into the decision.

The second-year player was reached for a run on three hits with a walk and a strikeout on 48 pitches.  The Indians ended up dropping that game as a 121 road underdog, 4-3, while the combined seven runs went ‘under’ the 8 ½-run closing total.

Gomez’s lone start of the season occurred against Kansas City April 19, falling as a 112 road underdog, 5-4.  The 23-year-old lasted 4 1/3 innings and 88 pitches, allowing five runs on nine hits with two walks and three strikeouts.  The combined nine runs landed directly on the closing total.

Gomez faced the Tigers twice during his rookie campaign, pitching a combined 10 innings while surrendering 10 runs (five earned) on 15 hits with four walks and five strikeouts.  The Indians triumphed as a 127 home underdog, 7-2, while losing as a 173 road ‘dog, 8-1.

Detroit has seen the ‘over’ go 9-4 its last 13 road games, while Cleveland is 17-4 straight up its previous 21 home outings.  The Tigers are winless their last eight games in Cleveland, while the ‘under’ is 7-2 the previous nine meetings.

Detroit has this brief three-game road trip before hosting the New York Yankees for a four-game set.  Cleveland concludes a six-game AL Central homestand with this series before embarking on a six-game West Coast road trip against Oakland and Los Angeles.

Friday’s matchup is slated to start at 4:05 p.m. PT from Cleveland’s Progressive Field.  The forecast calls for a 30 percent chance of rain, with a high of 53 degrees and a low of 42.

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