White Sox at Indians Picks and MLB Betting Odds
by Alan Matthews - 7/31/2013
Am I one of those types of guys who believes he can affect the outcome of a professional game by not watching when my team is shooting the potential winning free throws in the final seconds? It's stupid, but I do, and I know I'm not alone in that. I mention this because Cleveland Indians fans have my apologies for previewing their game Wednesday night against the White Sox. You see, every time I have previewed the Tribe this year they have been on a streak, either good or bad. And they seem to always shift direction right after one of my previews. Thus, my apologies may be in order because Cleveland is rolling again and closing the gap on Detroit in the AL Central.
Cleveland enters Tuesday's game against Chicago just 2.5 games back of Detroit and on a five-game winning streak. I no longer think the Tigers are locks to win the Central like I used to because of the struggles of Justin Verlander. If he's pounded again on Wednesday by Washington, then something is really wrong. Maybe the Tigers need to DL him just for both physical and emotional rest? Obviously Verlander's struggles only benefit Cleveland's division chances, although I still think the Indians need to add a starter before Wednesday's trade deadline. You don't hear them involved with the Sox's Jake Peavy, who was scratched from Tuesday's start. The Tribe are looking at relief help, perhaps targeting Colorado's Josh Outman. The southpaw eats up lefties. San Francisco's Javier Lopez also has been mentioned as a target.
The Tigers are -700 favorites at Sportsbook.ag to win the division, with the Tribe at +300. Chicago is +10000 and has waved the white flag, already trading relievers Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain, with Peavy likely a goner. Perhaps outfielder Alex Rios too. It's time to rebuild on the South Side.
White Sox at Indians Betting Story Lines
Monday's series-opening win was historic for Cleveland as Jason Giambi because the oldest player in MLB history to hit a walkoff home run. Giambi was 202 days past his 42nd birthday, 45 days older than Hank Aaron was when he hit his 754th career home run against Texas in 1976 to give the Brewers a 10-inning win. It was Chicago's fourth straight loss and 10th in 13 games. The Sox fell 23 games below .500 for the first time in six years. I have a sneaking suspicion that manager Robin Ventura will walk away after this season. He had to be talked into managing as it was, and he'll want no part of a long-term project.
Throw out an 11-8 win over Texas last Friday and the Cleveland pitching staff has been tremendous since the all-star break. Overall, the team ERA is 1.84 since the break with opponents hitting only .185. That's not good news for a White Sox team that ranks 29th in runs and struggles simply to get on base (28th).
Corey Kluber (7-5, 3.74) looks to continue the good pitching for Cleveland. He started that 11-8 Texas game and got a no-decision, allowing four runs and seven hits in six innings. It was the first time he had allowed more than two earned runs in a start since July 2. The Tribe have won four of his past five starts. Kluber hasn't faced the Sox this year and is 1-1 with a 3.95 ERA in 13.2 career innings against them. The only Sox hitter to have gone yard off Kluber is Dayan Viciedo. Rios is 2-for-6 off him with an RBI. Adam Dunn is 1-for-5 with three strikeouts. Dunn is batting .206 with 12 strikeouts in 34 at-bats since the break.
The White Sox counter with lefty Jose Quintana (5-3, 3.55), who figures to be a long-term fixture in the rotation with Chris Sale. Quintana hasn't allowed more than three runs in his past five starts and just once in his past nine. He is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in three starts this year against Cleveland. The Tribe are hitting only .161 off him. Mark Reynolds has a homer in 10 at-bats off Quintana. Michael Brantley is 3-for-9 with an RBI. Asdrubal Cabrera is 1-for-7 with two RBI. Reynolds has been in and out of the lineup of late because he's struggling so much. He's at .104 in July with no homers and hitting just .183 since May 1. But he'll certainly be in there against the lefty. Giambi was pinch-hitting for him Monday when he homered.
White Sox at Indians MLB Betting Odds and Trends
At BetOnline, the Indians opened at -168 and the Sox at +158 with a total of 8. All trends entering Tuesday: The White Sox are 42-54-7 “over/under” (25-27-1 on road) and 47-56 on the runline. The Indians are 47-54-5 O/U (24-28-1 at home) and 54-51 on the runline.
The Sox are 0-5 in their past five Wednesday games. They are 1-6 in Quintana's past seven road starts against teams with a winning record. Chicago is 3-8 in its past 11 during Game 3 of a series. The Indians have won their past six Game 3s. They are 11-1 in their past 12 against a lefty starter. Cleveland is 5-0 in Kluber's past five at home. The under is 10-0 in Quintana's past 10 Game 3 starts. The under is 9-4 in Cleveland's past 13 against lefty starters.
White Sox at Indians Picks and Betting Predictions
By the time the Sox take the field they could be without one of their best hitters in Rios, among who knows who else. Players won't be happy to see the likes of Peavy and Rios leave, so you can expect a bit of a dispirited effort. So while I like Quintana, I have to lean Indians, as well as on the runline, and the under.
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