#912 Baltimore Oriolesvs.#911 Cleveland Indians
Written by Ricky Dimon
Cleveland Indians (35-31 SU, 26-40 RL, 26-37-3 O/U) vs. Baltimore Orioles (33-34 SU, 30-37 RL, 36-29-2 O/U)
MLB: Monday, June 19, 2017 at 7:05 p.m. EST
The Line: Cleveland Indians -150/Baltimore Orioles +130. Total: 9.
The Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians will begin a four-game series when they get things started at Oriole Park on Monday night. Baltimore had lost eight of its last 10 contests heading into Sunday’s finale against St. Louis. The Indians extended their winning streak to four by taking the first two of their set with Minnesota.
The Indians were attempting to match their longest winning streak of the season when they visited the Twins on Sunday. Cleveland outscored Minnesota 15-5 while sweeping Saturday’s double-header. The Indians, who posted a five-game winning streak from April 17-22, benefited from two-homer performances in both games as Jose Ramirez went deep twice in the opener and Lonnie Chisenhall accomplished the feat in the nightcap. Ramirez became the ninth player in franchise history–and second this season (Francisco Lindor on April 5)–to homer from both sides of the plate in the same game.
Right-hander Corey Kluber is taking the mound for Cleveland on Monday. Kluber is 5-2 with a 4.15 ERA through nine starts this season, six of which have been of the quality variety. The 31-year-old has turned in three straight quality starts, lowering his ERA from 5.06 to the much more respectable mark at which it currently registers. Kluber most recently faced the Dodgers this past Wednesday, when he went seven innings and allowed only two runs on four hits and one walk while striking out 10 batters during a 6-4 loss.
The Orioles apparently got sick of being pounded on by St. Louis and decided to turn the tables this past Saturday. Baltimore’s staff allowed an average of 9.1 runs during a stretch of eight losses in nine games that included an 11-2 setback in the series opener on Friday. The Orioles’ offense was dealing with its own problems before Saturday, but that’s when the team launched five home runs among 15 hits in a 15-7 blowout of the Cardinals that included four innings in which the lineup scored multiple runs. Third baseman Manny Machado snapped a string of eight straight games without an extra-base hit by recording a homer and a double. Left fielder Trey Mancini has hit safely in each of his last eight games and recorded multiple hits in three of the last four.
Dylan Bundy will oppose Kluber on Monday. The right-hander is a solid 7-5 with a 3.29 ERA through 14 starts in 2017. As the numbers show, he has factored into the decision on 12 of 14 occasions, including six in a row. The 24-year-old has cooled off just a bit of late, with only one quality start in his last three appearances (he started the season with four straight). Bundy is coming off a five-inning performance against the White Sox this past Wednesday, when he surrendered five runs (four earned) on six hits and three walks en route to a 10-6 victory.
The Cleveland Indians are:
The Baltimore Orioles are:
Cleveland is finding its form as it continues its American League title defense in hopes of going just one game further and winning the World Series. With a lead in the AL Central Division in hand, Cleveland has outscored its opponents 35-11 during its current winning streak. The Indians are 5-0 in their last five overall, 4-0 in their last four road games, and 21-6 in Kluber’s last 27 starts. Baltimore is 3-8 in its last 11 overall, 1-8 in its last nine against the American League Central, and 0-6 in its last six against winning opponents. Look for those trends to continue.
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A 2006 graduate of Davidson College, Ricky is a freelance sports writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. He has previously worked with various websites in the sports handicapping industry and is generally a fan of going with the hot hand while in most cases showing a willingness to take favorites and give the points. Beyond the four major sports, Ricky is an avid tennis fan—and writer—and covers the ATP Tour on a daily basis.