MLB Picks: Indians at Diamondbacks Odds and Predictions
by Darin Zank - 6/27/2011
Two of the more pleasant surprises in baseball thus far this season meet for an interesting interleague series as the Cleveland Indians stop in the desert for a three-game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks beginning Monday night.
Cleveland was picked to finish near the bottom of the American League Central this season, but instead has led its division for most of the way. The Tribe has, however, come upon some tough times recently, and after getting swept three games in San Francisco over the weekend they've lost 21 of their last 31. So Cleveland enters this week in second place in the AL Central, one game back of division-leading Detroit.
Arizona was picked to finish last in the National League West again this season, but under Manager Kirk Gibson the D-Backs have played above their heads so far. Arizona did just drop two of three games to the Tigers in Detroit over the weekend, but they've still won four of their last six and 10 of their last 17. So the Diamondbacks enter this week in second place in the NL West, a game and a half behind division-leading San Francisco.
Mitch Talbot gets the start for Cleveland Monday night against Ian Kennedy for Arizona (9:40 p.m. EST). Then Tuesday Josh Tomlin takes the hill for the Tribe vs. Daniel Hudson for the Diamondbacks (9:40 p.m. EST). And Carlos Carrasco goes for the Indians Wednesday vs. Zach Duke for the D-Backs (3:40 p.m. EST).
Monday's Pitching Matchup
Talbot got his ERA down to 4.01 a couple of weeks ago, but has since given up nine earned runs on 21 baserunners (hits + walks) in his last two starts, covering 10 1/3 innings. And he's been tagged for seven homers in his last 22 innings. On the season Cleveland is 3-5 in Talbot's starts, with the ‘over/unders’ also going 3-5, mainly because the Indians have scored a total of five runs in his last four starts.
Talbot has never started a game vs. Arizona.
Kennedy owns a 2.90 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP (walks + hits/innings pitched), and has given up just one ER in his last two starts, covering 14 IP. On the year the D-Backs are 11-5 in Kennedy's starts, the ‘O/U’s 6-10, and those numbers speak to his effectiveness.
Kennedy has one career start vs. Cleveland, three years ago as a member of the New York Yankees.
Tuesday's Pitching Matchup
Tomlin recently had four’ iffy’ outings in a row, but he's bounced back a bit, allowing four ERs on 11 hits in his last two starts, covering 13 IP. On the season his ERA sits at 3.95 and, thanks to issuing just 12 walks, his WHIP at 1.06. The Indians are 10-5 in Tomlin's starts this season, the’ O/U’s 7-7.
Tomlin has never started vs. Arizona.
Hudson has strung together four quality starts in a row, allowing six ERs on 26 baserunners in his last 29 IP. And he's given up just five gopher balls in 108 innings this season. The D-Backs are 10-6 in Hudson's starts this year, the O/Us 5-10.
Wednesday's Pitching Matchup
Carrasco has worked his ERA down to 3.62 by compiling four quality starts in a row, allowing just two ERs on 23 baserunners over his last 29 2/3 IP. But two of those starts came against the Giants and Twins, neither of whom can be considered offensive powers. On the year Cleveland is 8-6 in Carrasco's starts, the totals 8-5.
Carrasco has never started vs. the Diamondbacks.
Duke had a delayed start to this season, and he hasn't done much good since joining the rotation. Over the course of his last three starts the lefthander has been tagged for 16 ERs on 32 baserunners in just 14 IP. For the season Arizona is 3-3 in Duke's starts, with the totals also going 3-3.
Duke last started vs. Cleveland two years ago as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Indians rank 18th in the Majors in team on-base percentage at .318, 16th in team slugging at .390 and 14th in scoring at 4.3 runs per game. But they've scored a total of 11 runs over their last five games.
The D-Backs rank 14th in OBP at .320, fifth in slugging at .418, fourth in homers with 87 and eighth in scoring at 4.5 RPG.
On the injury front Indians OF Shin-Soo Choo got hit by a pitch Friday night and suffered a broken thumb. So as if Cleveland hasn't been having enough problems scoring runs, Choo, who's knocked in over 200 runs over the last two-plus seasons, is out of action for at least six weeks.
This is the first meeting between these two teams in six seasons.
Indians at Diamondbacks Betting Odds and Trends
No series odds have been released for this matchup as of our deadline. However, MLB odds have the Diamondbacks listed as a -168 favorite for the first game of this series, according to WagerWeb, while the Indians are getting an underdog price of +148.
Cleveland is 16-22 on the road this season.
Arizona is 22-17 at home this season.
The ‘over/unders’ are 36-36 in Indians games this season.
The ‘O/U’s are 4-15-2 in Cleveland's last 21 games.
The ‘O/U’s are 34-41 in Diamondbacks games this season.
The ‘O/U’s are 17-21 in games played at Chase Field this season, even though those games are averaging 9.6 RPG, sixth-most among all ML ballparks.
MLB Picks: Indians at Diamondbacks Predictions
The D-Backs have the starting pitching edge Monday and Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Indians are on a downswing, and are having problems scoring runs. So we'll take Arizona to win this series.
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