Corey Kluber (3-8, 3.54 ERA) and Erasmo Ramirez (6-2, 4.45 ERA) take the hill in the second of a three-game series between the Cleveland Indians (31-35) and the Tampa Bay Rays (39-30) at Progressive Field. The Rays won the last game 4-1 and Tampa Bay leads the series 1-0. Action begins at 7:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jun. 20 and can be seen on SunSports and STO.
Kluber pitched 5.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering two runs, striking out two and walking one in an 8-1 defeat to the Tigers. Jason Kipnis (.341, 46 Rs, 5 HRs, 28 RBIs, 10 SBs) had another good game yesterday, going 3 for 4 with one run. When pitching against the Indians, Ramirez is 1-0 with a 5.68 ERA, 2.05 WHIP, and four strikeouts. Joey Butler (.336, 17 Rs, 6 HRs, 19 RBIs, 4 SBs) has been successful at the plate for the Rays, going 2 for 4 yesterday with one run, one home run, and one RBI.
This one isn't expected to be close when Cleveland, a substantial -190 favorite, takes on Tampa Bay. The Over/Under (O/U) is sitting at seven runs for this matchup. The Indians have an overall money line of -1,013 and a record as the favorite of 20-23. The Indians have seen a decline in scoring as of late, averaging 3.0 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 4.1 runs per game. Cleveland leads the whole AL in walks, earning an average of 3.7 per game. As for the pitchers, opponents have consistently been struck out by the Indians, who lead the AL in strikeouts per game with 9.4.
In games where it is the underdog, Tampa Bay has a 19-16 record and an overall money line of +715. Tampa Bay's pitching staff has set the standard for its league, with an AL-low 2.91 ERA on the road. When it comes to preventing batters from getting hits, the Rays are the best in the AL on the road with an average of 7.4 hits allowed per away game.
The Rays have the edge in the season series, 1-0. The Indians have a 20-19 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Ramirez takes the mound. Kluber (RHP) will be on the hill against the Rays, who have a 24-22 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - CLE, O/U - Over
Cleveland has won 48% (11-12) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Tampa Bay has won 54% (14-12) of its games when taking a late lead.
Having scored one run in their last game, the Indians are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Rays have an 18-1 record in games where opponents scored that many runs or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Indians are 5-28. The Rays have a 7-21 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 21st in home runs, Cleveland has hit 55 this season. Tampa Bay ranks 13th with 64 home runs.
Ranking 11th, Tampa Bay is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.12 per game. Cleveland ranks in the top 10 at eighth with 8.51.
Ranking 19th, Tampa Bay is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.695). Cleveland ranks in the top half at 12th with an OPS of .719.
When the Rays allow at least one home run, they are 15-22, well-matched with the Indians who are 21-27 when allowing at least one homer.