July 5, 2013 at 2:18 PM #52423
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
Detroit Tigers (45-38) vs Cleveland Indians (45-40)
Friday July 5
Progressive Field – Cleveland, OH
DET: Rick Porcello (R)
CLE: Justin Masterson (R)
Moneyline: Cleveland -130, Detroit +120
Detroit was impressive in taking the last three games of their road set with Toronto. They outscored the Blue Jays 24-9 and it was encouraging to see SP Justin Verlander deliver in the closing contest – 7IP, 3H, 0R – as he had been struggling of late. The only downside was that other worldly 3B Miguel Cabrera tweaked something on Wednesday night and didn’t play yesterday. Obviously he is the most important part of that lineup and they would love to have him for this critical series against the Indians as the try and assert their dominance in the American League Central. He is day-to-day for now.
Tigers starter Rick Porcello is just getting back from suspension for this start in this big series against Cleveland. He has not been the most effective member of the Tigers this season but has his moments like when he struck out 11 Pirates while taking the losing end of a 1-0 decision.
The hope is that the time off might do him some good as his last three starts have been nothing to write home about with 16ER in his last 16 innings. He is 1-0 against the Indians this season but both of those games were at home.
Cleveland has been very streaky this season but recent good play (6-4) has enabled them to close the gap on division leading Detroit. They enter the weekend series just 1.5 games back and with their ace on the mound they have a great chance to get off to a good start Friday night. This series is especially critical because the Indians have struggled against Detroit this season. They are just 2-6 against the Tigers this season including 0-2 at home. This is a perfect time to start trying to turn that record around.
Justin Masterson may not have the reputation of Verlander but he is an ace, at least on this team. He leads the American League in complete game and shutouts proving that when he is on he can absolutely dominate a lineup. Unfortunately none of those games have been against Detroit. He has just one start against the Tigers this season and it came in their last series against Detroit. He was certainly not awful but he took the loss giving up 4 runs over 8 innings. His last start was shutout of the White Sox – he is 1-1 in games following a shutout this season – hard to tell if they take something out of him.
O/U Pick: Over
Score Prediction: Cleveland 6 – Detroit 4
Porcello is a pitcher I can never get behind because I just don’t understand how he gets it done even when he is going well. Masterson is much less of a mystery and a workhorse as well. I am not expecting dominance, just a solid performance like last time just withmore offensive support – he received just one rune last time out.
Not a huge value opportunity but they are the home team in a division tilt.
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