The Detroit Tigers try to build on a series split over the weekend when they face the host Cleveland Indians in the first of a three-game series between American League Central rivals on Monday night. The series opener is scheduled for a 7:10 p.m. ET first pitch at Progressive Field in Cleveland.
The Tigers are coming off a 2-1 win over Houston in 10 innings on Sunday, earning a split of their four-game split with the AL West leaders. Detroit improved to 34-44 and is in third place in the AL Central, nine games behind the second-place Indians and percentage points ahead of both the Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals.
Cleveland has dropped two in a row, including an 8-2 setback on Sunday, to fall to 41-33. The Indians are second in the AL Central, 2½ games behind the first-place Chicago White Sox.
If you want to bet on this game, the MLB odds have the Indians with a moneyline of -155, while the Tigers are listed at +140. The over/under for the series opener is set at 9½ runs.
A split of a series isn’t usually a successful weekend, but considering Houston came into its four-game weekend set with the Tigers having won 10 straight, Detroit was quite happy to get two wins from the Astros. Detroit is 26-25 since May 1 and has won five of its last seven.
“We can walk into the clubhouse knowing we just split with those guys, and we could have won three of four,” Detroit outfielder Robbie Grossman said after Sunday’s win. “That’s a great feeling.”
Grossman’s squeeze bunt in the bottom of the 10th brought in Akil Baddoo with the winning run on Sunday. Grossman is second on the Tigers with 35 RBIs, hitting 12 doubles, two triples, nine home runs and scoring a team-high 38 times.
Second baseman Jonathan Schoop has been on a hot streak in June, hitting .330 with seven doubles, 10 home runs, 23 RBIs and 18 runs scored. Schoop leads Detroit with 15 home runs and 41 RBIs.
Right-hander Matt Manning will make his third major league start on Monday night. Manning is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA, striking out four and walking four in 10.2 innings.
The 23-year-old earned his first major league win in his last start against St. Louis on Wednesday. Manning went 5.2 innings, allowing two runs on five hits, including a home run, while striking out one and walking two in a 6-2 victory.
Trying to Keep Pace
The “veteran” in Monday’s pitching matchup will be right-hander Eli Morgan, who will make his fourth major league start. The 25-year-old is 0-2 with a 10.32 ERA in his first season, striking out 15 and walking two in 11.1 innings.
Morgan took the loss against the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday in his last start. The rookie went five innings and allowed four runs on four hits, including a home run, striking out nine and walking none in a 7-1 setback.
Third baseman Jose Ramirez leads the Indians with 16 home runs and 44 RBIs. Ramirez is batting .258 but has just three hits and no RBIs in his last seven games, which comes after he had back-to-back three-RBI games with home runs in each contest.
Shortstop Amed Rosario had a decent series against Minnesota, going 3-for-11 with a double, a home run, one RBI and two runs scored. He’s batting a team-leading .270.
The Indians have dominated this series this season, winning seven of the first 10 meetings. Cleveland took three of four near the end of May in Detroit after the teams met twice in April.
The Tigers will go with Jose Urena (2-8) on Tuesday, with Wednesday’s starter yet to be named. Cleveland will counter with J.C. Mejia (1-2) and Cal Quantrill (0-2), so pitching likely won’t dominate this series.
The series prices for this three-game set have the Indians at -190 while the Tigers are listed at +155.
Tigers Get Road Win
Detroit is brimming with confidence after hanging with the Astros over the weekend. Neither of the starting pitchers have much experience, so we could see a lot of relievers on Monday night.
Cleveland has had a very inconsistent offense of late and we think the Tigers will ride their success against the Astros to a win in this one. When making your MLB betting picks, take Detroit to win the series opener.