Detroit will try to snap a three-game losing streak when it wraps up a shortened series in Cleveland on Sunday afternoon. The Guardians picked up a 6-1 win on Friday in the opener, but Saturday’s game was postponed due to weather. This will be the fifth game of what has turned into an eight-game road trip for Detroit.
Tigers struggling at the plateDetroit has been extremely streaky so far this year, but it has been more bad than good for the Tigers. They have gone on five separate losing streaks of at least three games each, including two six-game skids. Detroit was able to sweep Baltimore and add a win in Tampa Bay during a four-game winning streak last weekend, but the Tigers proceeded to lose their next three games. They got off to a bad start in this series, losing a 6-1 final on Friday. Detroit has scored exactly one run in three straight games and now ranks No. 27 in team batting average (.219).
The Tigers are bringing up the rear in the American League Central, sitting 10.5 games back of division-leading Minnesota. Veteran first baseman Miguel Cabrera has a team-best 34 hits and is batting .276. Third baseman Jeimer Candelario and left fielder Austin Meadows each has 27 base knocks, but Meadows is currently sidelined with an illness. They are facing a struggling Cleveland pitching staff that is No. 24 in ERA (4.01). Right-handed pitcher Alex Faedo could start for Detroit on Sunday after Saturday’s postponement, as he was originally in line to start that game. Faedo is 0-1 with a 2.87 ERA and 1.28 WHIP through 15.2 innings on the mound.
Ramirez leads strong lineupCleveland has been even streakier than Detroit so far this season. The Guardians went on a four-game winning streak in mid-April and have added a trio of three-game winning streaks since then. They have also been on multiple losing skids though, including one that lasted three games earlier this week. Cleveland was able to snap that drought with Friday’s 6-1 win. The Guardians are in the third place in the AL Central, sitting 5 games back of Minnesota. They are also just 0.5 games back of Chicago for second place in the standings. Cleveland has been a strong offensive team, ranked seventh in batting average (.247).
Third baseman Jose Ramirez leads Cleveland with 39 hits, including a team-best nine home runs. He has already driven in 37 runs and is batting .287 in what has been an excellent start to the season. Center fielder Myles Straw has 34 hits, while Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario each have 31 hits. They are facing a Detroit pitching staff that has been the strength of its team, ranked No. 12 in ERA (3.67). Right-handed pitcher Shane Bieber is a candidate to start Sunday’s game, as he was also scheduled to go on Saturday. Bieber is 1-2 with a 3.72 ERA during what has been a disappointing start to the season for the ace.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The two starters who were slated to go Saturday, Bieber and Faedo, have been pushed off a day and will both start Sunday. There has not been much between Faedo and Bieber so far this year, so I will focus on the respective offenses. Cleveland is one of the best hitting teams in the majors, while Detroit is one of the worst. The Guardians are led by Ramirez, who is off to an excellent start. Take Cleveland to win this game.
Full-Game Total Pick
Detroit’s offense just can’t seem to get anything going, with a past-his-prime Cabrera having to lead the way. The Tigers have scored a total of three runs over their last three games, showing just how bad they have been at the dish. They rank near the bottom of the majors in batting average and have gone under the total in 12 of their last 16 games. Meanwhile, Cleveland has gone under in four of its last five contests. This could be a low-scoring game once again, especially if Saturday’s starters end up taking the mound.