The Cleveland Indians try to snap a three-game losing streak when they take on the host Detroit Tigers in the first of a three-game series between American League Central rivals on Friday night. The series opener is scheduled for a 7:10 p.m. ET first pitch at Comerica Park in Detroit.
Cleveland was swept at home by the Oakland Athletics, capped by a 17-0 loss on Thursday. The Indians are 55-58 and in third place in the AL Central, percentage points behind the second-place Tigers and six games ahead of the Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals.
The Tigers are coming off a three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles, including a 6-4 victory on Thursday. Detroit is 57-60 and 11½ games behind the first-place Chicago White Sox.
If you want to bet on this divisional matchup, the MLB odds have the Indians with a moneyline of -114, while the Tigers have +104 odds. The over/under for the series opener is set at nine runs.
There wasn’t much to say after Cleveland’s 17-0 home loss to Oakland . Interim manager DeMarlo Hale got right to the point afterward and tried to focus on the next series.
“They put the bat on the ball,” Hale said after the loss. “Try to turn the page as quickly as possible and on to Detroit.”
Hoping to do better on the mound on Friday will be right-hander Zach Pleasac, who will make his 17th start. The 26-year-old is 6-4 with a 4.84 ERA, striking out 58 and walking 19 over 89. innings.
Plesac has faced the Tigers three times this season, going 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA over 17 innings, striking out 16. His last outing was a start against Detroit on Sunday as he took a no-decision after lasting four innings and allowing four earned runs on two hits, including a home run, while striking out six and walking three.
Third baseman Jose Ramirez went hitless in the three games against Oakland, striking out three times and walking twice. Ramirez is batting .249 with team-leading totals of 21 doubles, 25 home runs, 68 RBIs and 73 runs scored.
Shortstop Amed Rosario is batting a team-best .276 while also leading the team with five triples. Rosario has 19 doubles, six home runs, 34 RBIs and 54 runs scored.
Veteran Miguel Cabrera hit his 499th career home run in Wednesday’s win in Baltimore and got the day off on Thursday, setting the stage for him to hit his 500th at home. The 38-year-old has 12 home runs, with only four of those coming at Comerica Park.
Second baseman Jonathan Schoop has been the big bopper for the Tigers, leading the team with a .288 batting average and 65 RBIs. He’s also tied for the team home run lead with 18, though he’s hit just one this month.
Outfielder Robbie Grossman hit his 18th homer on Thursday, part of his 6-for-14 series against the Orioles. Grossman is batting .240 with 14 doubles, three triples, 54 RBIs and 63 runs scored.
Left-hander Tyler Alexander will make the start for Detroit. Alexander is 2-1 with a 4.35 ERA, striking out 49 and walking 14 in 60 innings over seven starts and 31 overall appearances.
Alexander earned the win on Saturday against Cleveland as he went 5.1 shutout innings, allowing four hits while striking out four and walking none. In two starts in August, Alexander is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA.
The Indians have come out on top 10 times in the 16 games this season, including four of the seven meetings at Comerica Park. Detroit has a 32-25 record at home while the Indians are 26-31 on the road.
Cleveland is still uncertain about its starter for Saturday but has Triston McKenzie (1-5, 5.66 ERA) slated for Sunday’s contest. Detroit will have Wily Peralta (3-2, 3.48) on the mound in the second game and Casey Mize (6-6, 3.66) is scheduled to pitch in the series finale.
The MLB series prices for this three-game set have the Indians at -115, while the Tigers are listed at -115.
Tigers Win Again
Detroit is playing very well of late, especially at home. Cleveland won two of three between these teams last weekend, but we like the Tigers to get the win in this game.
When making your MLB picks, take Detroit to win at home.