Indians at Orioles Picks and MLB Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 6/24/2013
Were you ever one of those kids -- shoot, you may do it now as an adult -- who thought if you did something that it might jinx whatever team you rooted for? Maybe you wore the same jersey every week or simply turned the channel because you wouldn't dare affect the outcome. Obviously that's silly, but I've definitely been there. And it seems every time I preview a Cleveland Indians game it affects their near future.
Back in May, I previewed a Tribe game when they were red-hot and then they went into the toilet, literally starting the game I previewed (a loss to Detroit). Less than two weeks ago, I previewed an Indians-Rangers game and all but threw dirt on Cleveland's chances in the AL Central. Well, the Tribe won that game and impressively took the series in Texas. And then they won a series against Washington. Then against Kansas City. And finally over the weekend against Minnesota. The Tribe are still three games out of the AL Central lead behind Detroit (all stats entering Sunday) and three out of a wild-card spot, but suddenly they look like buyers and not sellers ahead of the July 31 trade deadline.
The Orioles, meanwhile, impressively took two of three in Detroit to open last week but then were roughed up by the scorching-hot Blue Jays over the weekend. I still think the Birds are a fluke as their ERA is 14th in the American League, but Chris Davis is a monster right now. It looks like Davis will be the only thing keeping Detroit's Miguel Cabrera from another Triple Crown as Davis has a comfortable lead in homers, while Cabrera leads the AL by a ton in average and is a few ahead of Davis in RBI.
Monday's game is the opener of a four-game series between the Tribe and Orioles and the start of an 11-game road trip for Cleveland. The O's are home for seven straight. It's the first matchup of the season between the two, with Baltimore visiting Cleveland in early September -- the series right before that Thursday, Sept. 5, Orioles matchup with Chicago in Camden Yards that forced the NFL to move the Ravens' game.
Indians at Orioles Betting Story Lines
One of the worst trades in recent baseball history, at least as things stand right now, has to be when Texas dealt Davis and Tommy Hunter to the Orioles for reliever Koji Uehara right before the 2011 deadline. The Rangers needed an arm as they were chasing a World Series and Davis had seemed to regress after a pretty good 2008 rookie season and solid 2009. He was hitting .250 with three homers and six RBI in 76 at-bats in '11 before the deal. Uehara was excellent that year in Baltimore and decent with the Rangers (excellent again in 2012) and now apparently is the new closer of the Boston Red Sox. Hunter is having a good season in relief for the Birds. The irony is that Texas didn't want to trade Davis -- they were pushing Uehara for Hunter straight up -- but then Orioles GM Andy MacPhail sealed it by kicking in $2 million. On the day of the trade, according to Foxsports.com, Rangers GM Jon Daniels told reporters that he knew Davis could become a “late bloomer” like Nelson Cruz and develop into a high-impact offensive player. He was right. In fact, Davis has blossomed so nicely that Orioles hitting coach Jim Presley might get a managing job out of it. Essentially, Davis can now hit the breaking ball.
Somehow, Davis has yet to face Monday's Indians starter, Ubaldo Jimenez (5-4, 4.66). He looked like a bust since coming over from Colorado in a big 2011 trade but has been pretty good since a slow start. In his past 10 games, he is 5-2 with a 3.04 ERA. Batters are hitting only .220 off him since an April 29 start when he seemed to figure things out by making a mechanical change. Jimenez hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in any of his past five starts. Jimenez has never faced Baltimore, which is also odd. O's shortstop J.J. Hardy, who is having a monster June of his own, has a homer in five at-bats off Jimenez.
Baltimore counters with lefty Zach Britton (1-1, 5.56), who really should be in the bullpen -- the O's most certainly will be trading for a starting pitcher before the deadline and reportedly already have called the Cubs about both Matt Garza and Scott Feldman. Britton has made just two spot starts all season, last allowing a run and five hits over 5.1 innings on June 18 in Detroit. He's 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA in 12 career innings against Cleveland. No current Indian has more than nine career at-bats off Britton. Nick Swisher has three RBI off Britton and he returned to the Cleveland lineup Sunday after missing six games because of a sore left shoulder.
Indians at Orioles Betting Odds and Trends
At BetOnline, the Orioles opened at -135 and the Indians at +125 with a total of 9.5. All trends entering Sunday: Cleveland is 35-34-4 “over/under” (16-16-3 away) and 34-39 on the runline. Baltimore is 38-33-4 O/U (14-17-4 at home) and 43-32 on the runline.
The Indians are 2-6 in their past eight against a lefty and in Game 1 of a series. They are 2-12 in their past 14 road games against teams with a winning record. Cleveland is 5-2 in Jimenez's past seven road starts but 2-7 in his past nine series openers. The Orioles are 9-2 in their past 11 home games against teams with a winning record. Baltimore is 8-3 in its past 11 against righty starters. The under is 4-0 in the Indians' past four road games. It is 4-1 in Jimenez's past five starts. The under is 5-1 in the Orioles' past six series openers. The Indians have won seven of the past 10 in Baltimore. The over is 6-1-1 in the past eight at Camden Yards.
Indians at Orioles Picks and Betting Predictions
I like how Jimenez is pitching right now and how Cleveland is playing. I have no idea, meanwhile, what Britton will bring. Thus I'd go with the Tribe here and the under.
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