Indians at Rangers Picks and MLB Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 6/12/2013
Exactly three weeks ago, I previewed a Cleveland Indians-Detroit Tigers Wednesday night game. The Tribe entered that matchup as one of the surprise teams in baseball with a 26-18 record and 1.5-game lead over heavy spring AL Central favorite Detroit. I thought Terry Francona was the leading AL Manager of the Year candidate.
Well, the Indians lost that game (at least I called that) to drop that two-game series with the Tigers and things have gone badly downhill. Cleveland has just four wins since entering Tuesday's game at the Texas Rangers, hasn't won a series, and is on an eight-game losing streak. That 1.5-game lead is now a 5.5-game deficit, and the Indians are barely ahead of the White Sox and Twins to stay out of the Central basement.
Texas is Texas, humming along atop the AL West as usual, although Oakland is right on the Rangers' tails. The Rangers have won two straight entering Tuesday (all stats entering Tuesday) and are a tremendous 19-8 at home, the second-fewest home losses in the majors behind only Atlanta.
Indians at Rangers Betting Story Lines
The Rangers are always tough to beat at home this time of year because it's just so hot and humid in Arlington. They took care of Cleveland 6-3 in the opener of this series on Monday as Lance Berkman broke a 3-3 tie with a two-run homer in the seventh inning (his first homer since May 14). It was Cleveland's 12th straight road loss, the franchise's longest since a 16-game skid from late 2009 into early 2010.
The Indians are without all-star closer Chris Perez, who has really had a rough few weeks. He hasn't pitched since May 26 with a shoulder injury and was eligible to come off the disabled list Tuesday, but he's not ready. Perez is 2-1 with a 4.32 ERA and six saves in 17 outings. On top of that shoulder problem, he and his wife were charged recently with misdemeanor marijuana possession. Apparently Cleveland police were tipped off to some suspicious packages sent to the Perez household by postal inspectors and arranged a delivery last week under surveillance. Perez's wife accepted two packages full of weed, which was actually in the family dog's name (yeah, that's not suspicious), and Perez admitted he had marijuana for personal use when the cops showed up with a search warrant. Marijuana almost never leads to an MLB suspension, however.
Cleveland starts right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez (4-4, 5.03) on Wednesday. He allowed five runs and seven hits in 3.0 innings of a loss at Detroit last time out. Jimenez actually had pitched quite well since the end of April other than one other bad start. He is 1-2 with a 4.37 ERA in his career against Texas in 27.2 innings. This is his first start against the Rangers this year. Berkman has had some success against Jimenez with a .313 average. Adrian Beltre has five hits in 12 at-bats against him with a homer and four RBI. He's hot right now with three homers in the past week despite a troublesome hamstring. Texas remains without second baseman Ian Kinsler and first baseman Mitch Moreland, although both could come off the DL next week.
Texas counters with right-hander Nick Tepesch (3-5, 3.92). The rookie has never faced the Tribe. Texas has lost his past four starts and six of his past seven. The Rangers have a major-league leading 23 starts by rookies, two more than any other club. Tepesch was knocked around last time out, allowing six runs in seven innings in Toronto. He has been much better at home this year with a 2.67 ERA.
The Indians are struggling as a whole at the plate, batting .211 during the eight-game skid. Streaky Nick Swisher is in a bad streak, with two hits in his past 30 at-bats. He hasn't homered since May 26. Mark Reynolds has two hits in his past 25 at-bats and has struck out 17 times in his past 10 games. He hasn't homered since May 29. The Tribe signed Michael Bourn to a big free-agent deal to get on base and run, but he has one steal and 15 strikeouts in his past 10 games. You may want to put some money down on a Carlos Santana hitting prop in this one, however. In 23 career games against Texas, he is hitting.314 (27-for-86) with 10 doubles, five homers and 17 RBI.
Indians at Rangers MLB Betting Odds and Trends
At BetOnline, the Rangers opened at -142 and the Indians at +132 with a total of 10. All trends entering Tuesday: Cleveland is 32-27-4 “over/under” (16-14-3 on road) and 26-37 on the runline. Texas is 24-36-3 O/U (8-18-1 at home) and 32-31 on the runline.
The Indians are 1-4 in their past five Game 3s of a series. Cleveland is 4-12 in Jimenez's past 16 road starts. The Tribe are 2-8 in Jimenez's past 10 road starts against teams with a winning record. The Rangers are 4-0 in their past four Wednesday games. They are 1-5 in Tepesch's past six starts against teams with a losing record. The over is 7-2-1 in Jimenez's past 10 against teams with a winning record. The under is 5-0 in the Rangers' past five Wednesday games. The under is 5-0 in Tepesch's past five home starts. Cleveland is 3-13 in the past 16 at Texas.
Indians at Rangers Picks and Betting Predictions
This is an ESPN national TV game, so there will be live betting on the game at books that offer it like Bovada. If this were in Cleveland, I would probably roll the dice on Jimenez, but I can't do that in Texas. He has been roughed up in two starts there (6.30 ERA) over the past three years. That the Indians haven't seen Tepesch should allow him to at least get through the lineup twice before handing it to the bullpen. Take the Rangers and the under. I'd take them at +145 on the runline as well.
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