The Cleveland Indians try to avoid a second straight loss when they take on the host St. Louis Cardinals in the first of a two-game interleague series on Tuesday night. The first pitch for the series opener is set for 8:15 p.m. ET at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
The Indians lost two of three to Baltimore over the weekend, capped with an 18-5 setback on Sunday. Cleveland is 31-26 and in second place in the American League Central, four games behind the first-place Chicago White Sox and 2½ games ahead of the third-place Kansas City Royals.
St. Louis has lost five straight, including four in a row to the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend. The Cardinals are in third place in the National League Central, two games behind the second-place Chicago Cubs and 1½ games ahead of the fourth-place Reds.
The MLB odds for Tuesday’s game have the Indians with a moneyline of -165, while the Cardinals are +145. The over/under for the contest has been set at 7½ runs.
Staying in It
The Cleveland Indians will have right-hander Shane Bieber on the mound for the series opene. He looks to improve on his 6-3 record and 3.08 ERA. Bieber is 8-3 with a 3.91 ERA in 12 career interleague starts.
Bieber is coming off a win over the White Sox on June 1, allowing two earned runs over seven innings while striking out seven and walking two. Bieber leads baseball with 117 strikeouts compared to just 29 walks.
Third baseman Jose Ramirez has been the heavy hitter for Cleveland, hitting 13 home runs and driving in 31 runs to lead the team. He’s batting .262 and has a team-best 53 hits.
Second baseman Cesar Hernandez is batting just .218, but he has eight doubles, a triple, nine home runs and 19 RBIs. The Indians are 28th in baseball with a .221 team batting average while tying for 23rd in total runs with 231.
Down 7-0 after three innings, the Cardinals scored seven runs in the sixth inning Sunday to tie the game against Cincinnati, only to have the Reds score a run in the top of the ninth to complete the four-game sweep. St. Louis can take some positive vibes from the comeback, though not getting a win is what will linger.
“The guys fought their tails off to come back,” St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said after Sunday’s loss. “This one stings.”
Third baseman Nolan Arenado went 4-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored in the loss. Arenado leads the Cardinals with 40 RBIs and a .287 batting average, hitting 11 home runs and 19 doubles.
Outfielder Tyler O’Neill leads St. Louis with 13 home runs and 29 RBIs in 41 games. He’s batting .278 and has scored 25 runs. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt is hitting .250 with seven home runs and 29 RBIs.
Right-hander Carlos Martinez will be on the mound on Tuesday, coming off a start he would like to forget. On Wednesday, he went just two-thirds of an inning, allowing 10 runs on six hits and four walks against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Martinez dropped to 3-5 with the loss, which raised his ERA to 5.83. It was his first loss since he started 0-4 in April.
Indians Earn Road Win
Bieber has been outstanding and he’s facing a Cardinals team that really struggled in its series against Cincinnati. He should be able to keep St. Louis’ offense in check, while the Indians’ batters will be able to score on Martinez.
When doing your MLB betting, take Cleveland to get the road win.