The Cleveland Indians will host the Detroit Tigers on Saturday for the second game of their three-game series. The Tigers took two out of three games from the Tribe in the season-opening series at Comerica Park from April 1-4. This preview is for Saturday was written before Friday's series opener was completed.
Baddoo shining earlyAfter going 23-35 last season and finishing last in the AL Central, the Tigers headed into Friday night with a 3-3 record to begin this season. The Tigers are 19th in MLB, averaging 3.8 runs and 24th allowing 5.7 runs per the first six contest. Rookie outfielder Akil Baddoo, a Rule 5 Draft pick from the Minnesota Twins, has been exciting early on. Baddoo has only 11 at-bats so far but has a team-best seven RBI and is tied for the team lead with two home runs.
Detroit is scheduled to send 24-year old southpaw Tarik Skubal to the mound on Saturday. Skubal allowed two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings against the Indians in Detroit's 9-3 loss last Sunday, but he did not factor in the decision. As a rookie in 2020, Skuball went 1-4 with a 5.63 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in eight appearances and seven starts. He pitched 2 1/3 innings against Cleveland last season and allowed one earned run while striking out five batters. Backing up Skubal is a Tigers bullpen that has the second-worst ERA in baseball at 7.56.
Civale hopes to continue success against TigersThe Cleveland Indians went 35-25 last season and reached the postseason, where they were swept in two games by the New York Yankees in the American League Wildcard Series. After finishing with a winning record in each of their last eight seasons and making the playoffs four times out of the last five years, the Indians had to make some tough decisions this offseason. The most notable move was the trade of shortstop Fransico Lindor and starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco to the New York Mets in exchange for Amed Rosario and Giménez, right-handed pitching prospect Josh Wolf and outfield prospect Isaiah Greene.
Cleveland is 23rd in MLB, averaging 3.4 runs and seventh, holding opponents to just 3.2 runs per game after five games. Jose Ramirez leads the team with a .350 batting average, two home runs, and four RBI. Eddie Rosario, who played for Minnesota the last six seasons, has been a strong acquisition so far, with one home run and four RBI.
Aaron Civale is scheduled to make his second start of the season on Saturday. Civale picked up the win in Cleveland's 9-3 victory over Detroit last Saturday, pitching seven innings, allowing only two hits and three earned runs. Civale was 4-6 with a 4.74 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 12 starts last season. Against Detroit, Civale has been extremely successful, posting a 4-0 record, 2.67 ERA, and 0.89 WHIP in five career starts.
- Tigers are 0-5 in Skubal's last 5 starts.
- Cleveland is 11-5 in its last 16 games against Detroit
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Detroit Tigers have not had much success against the Cleveland Indians on the road in recent years, as Cleveland has won 19 of the last 23 head-to-head match-ups at Progressive Field. The Tigers will have their hands full again on Saturday, going up against Aaron Civale, who loves to face them. Civale is a perfect 4-0 in his career against Detroit but only has a 4-10 career record against all other teams. After Civale comes out, he will turn things over to a Cleveland bullpen that has been strong, posting a 2.84 ERA thus far, while Detroit's pen has not pitched well. Take Cleveland to win on Saturday.
Full-Game Total Pick
In 2020, Cleveland was the third-best team in MLB to bet the under on, with just 39.7% of their games going over the total. This season the under has been strong for Cleveland again, with four of their five games falling below the posted total. The Tigers have not had a lot of success against Civale in the past, and four of their first six games have gone under the total this season.
With two below-average offensive ball clubs going here, this game should fall under the total, baring that the Tigers bullpen doesn't get hammered late. Still, the Indians have only scored more than four runs in one game this season, so the under is the play here.