Indians vs. Rays, 8-13-2017 - Pick and Prediction

Game Snapshot

#970 Tampa Bay Rays
vs.
#969 Cleveland Indians

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Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Cleveland Indians (61-52) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (59-58)

MLB Baseball:  Sunday, August 13th, 1:10 pm EST

Corey Kluber (10-3, 2.65 ERA) vs. Austin Pruitt (6-3, 5.14)

Line:  Cleveland -200/Tampa Bay +180

The Indians close out a three game series with the Rays on Sunday afternoon, in an important series for both teams.  The Indians currently have a 3.5 game lead over the Twins, but Minnesota has won six straight and has the Indians in their sight.  The Rays, meanwhile, are still very much in the wild card race, currently trailing the Yankees by 3.5 games for the first wild card and being only .5 games out of the second wild card.

Game one on Friday night went to the Indians by a score of 5-0 as Carlos Carrasco took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, and finished by going eight innings without allowing a run.  Tampa Bay better win on Saturday, because Sunday they will be facing Indian ace Corey Kluber who has been fantastic.

Corey Kluber has been nothing short of phenomenal

Corey Kluber has been so good over the last two months that it’s hard to know where to start.  He’s pitched so well that he’s entered the Cy Young race that seemed destined to go to Chris Sale over the first several months of the season.  Now, it’s anyway’s to win, even though Kluber only has 10 wins.   His other numbers are that staggering.

Over his last 10 starts, he’s given up one earned run or less in eight of those starts.  He’s stuck out more than 10 batters in nine of those starts, and he’s thrown a total of  114 strikeouts over those 10 starts, and lost only one game.  On the year, he know has an absurd 183 strikeouts in only 132 innings.  His WHIP is .91 and batters are hitting .195 against him.  Truly great numbers all around for Kluber.

Austin Pruitt goes for the Rays

Austin Pruitt gets the call for the Rays on Sunday, looking to take down the fantastic Corey Kluber.  Pruitt has a nice win/loss record, coming in at 6-3, but most of that was as a reliever.  His first 17 appearances were out of the pen, where he had an impressive 5-1 record, even if his ERA wasn’t all that great.  He’s really pitched better since becoming a starter, however.

He’s only gone 1-2 as a starter, but in the four starts he’s made, he’s allowed one earned run once and no earned runs twice.  He just got unlucky to lose a game where he only allowed one earned run.  In his fourth start, he gave up five earned runs, but he’s still only given up six runs over four starts.  Not bad.

MLB Trends:

The Cleveland Indians are:

  • 8-1 in their last 9 Sunday games.
  • 7-3 in their last 10 vs. a team with a winning record.
  • 4-0 in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a winning record.

The Tampa Bay Rays are:

  • 1-4 in their last 5 overall.
  • 1-4 in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600.

The Rays have been a solid, plucky team all year, but now they are facing one of the four best pitchers in the major leagues along with Sale, Kerhsaw, and Scherzer.  Kluber has been lights out and I don’t know why that will change on Sunday.

Pick: Cleveland

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Big B

Known as Big B since his time at UCSB, Brian O’Sullivan is a novelist, screenwriter, & poker player who follows sports religiously. His betting style would be considered that of a contrarian, and he likes to bet against the general public. It seems to be working. You can find him at the coffee shops of Vegas, hanging with his family in SF, or at the bars of LA.