Danny Salazar (12-8, 3.54 ERA) and Alfredo Simon (12-9, 4.86 ERA) are on the hill in the first of a four-game series between the Cleveland Indians (68-70) and the Detroit Tigers (64-75) at Progressive Field. Action begins at 7:10 p.m. ET on Thursday, Sep. 10 and can be seen on STOh and FSDT.
Salazar pitched 3.2 innings in his most recent start, surrendering six runs, striking out one and walking one in a 6-0 defeat to the Tigers. Jason Kipnis (.308, 77 Rs, 7 HRs, 46 RBIs, 11 SBs) continued his strong play yesterday, going 2 for 5 with one RBI. Simon went 7.0 innings, surrendering zero runs, striking out five and walking four in a 6-0 win over the Indians in his last outing. Miguel Cabrera (.351, 58 Rs, 17 HRs, 68 RBIs, 1 SB) went 1 for 2 yesterday.
This one isn't expected to be close when Cleveland, a big -207 favorite, takes on Detroit. The matchup has an estimated Over/Under (O/U) of eight runs. The Indians have an overall money line of -1,383 and a record as the favorite of 45-42. Cleveland has had a discouraging season against division opponents, earning records of 13-24 and 21-33 as the favorite and SU respectively. The Indians are one of the best in the AL in terms of hits at home with an impressive 9.2 per game. Cleveland is one of the best in the AL in terms of walks, earning an average of 3.4 per game. Cleveland's pitchers fall apart when division rivals are on the field. Its average runs allowed per game rises to 4.6 against fellow AL Central members, compared to its 4.1 season average. The Indians are the third-best team in the league at limiting hits and walks to their opponents, recording a WHIP of 1.19 so far this season. Opponents have consistently been struck out by the Indians, who lead the AL in strikeouts per game with 8.8.
In the other locker room, Detroit is coming in with an overall money line of -951 and a disappointing record of 30-45 as the underdog. Despite an underwhelming record as the underdog against AL Central rivals (12-16), they pulled off an impressive 32-24 SU record. Offensively, they average four runs per game on the road, which is third in the AL. The Tigers are tough outs for opponents, leading the AL with 9.4 hits per road game. The Tigers allow 5.0 runs per game, but have damaged those numbers in the past 10 games, allowing 7.9 runs per game during that span.
The Tigers lead the season series, 10-5. The Indians have a 48-42 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Simon takes the mound. Salazar (RHP) will be on the hill against the Tigers, who have a 45-59 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - Cle, O/U - Over
The Indians are 22-33 against their divisional rivals, while the Tigers are 32-24 against their division.
The Indians are coming into this game after allowing one walk during their last outing. The Tigers have a 12-27 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Tigers are 8-53. The Indians have a 9-52 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 22nd in home runs, Cleveland has hit 117 this season. Detroit ranks 14th with 140 home runs.
Detroit tops the league in hits with 9.42 per game this season. Cleveland ranks in the top 10 at ninth with 8.61.
Ranking 16th, Cleveland is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.722). Detroit ranks in the top five at third with an OPS of .755.
When the Tigers allow at least one home run, they are 31-59. When the Indians allow one or more homers, they have a 40-57 record.