Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#971 Cleveland Indians -105 vs.
#972 Texas Rangers 11
Wednesday, June 19, 2019 at 8:05pm EDT
Written by Chris Kubala

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#971 Cleveland
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A pair of teams trying to stay in the wild card race in the American League continue a series down in the Lone Star State. The Cleveland Indians are on the road as they play the third game of a four-game series with the Texas Rangers Wednesday night. In the opening game of the series, Texas picked up a 7-2 win Monday night to draw first blood. In the second game of the series Tuesday night, it was Zach Plesac taking the mound for the Indians against the Rangers’ Adrian Sampson. First pitch in the contest was scheduled for 8:05 pm ET.

Cleveland Indians Chasing in AL Central Race

Cleveland had won three straight and four of five before getting knocked off in the opening game of this set. The Indians entered Tuesday second in the AL Central, 10 games behind the Twins: they trailed the Rangers and Red Sox by 1.5 games for the second wild card spot. Francisco Lindor (run, RBI) and Jake Bauers each had two hits for Cleveland in the defeat. Lindor (his 12th) and Oscar Mercado (his fourth) each hit a solo homer in the loss for the Indians. Mike Clevinger (1-1) took the loss on the mound as he allowed five runs on three hits with three walks and seven strikeouts over 4.2 innings in his return from the injured list.

Adam Plutko takes the ball for his fifth start of the season for the Indians in this contest. He is 3-1 with a 4.63 ERA, a 1.029 WHIP, three walks and 17 strikeouts over 23.1 innings of work on the year. Plutko earned the win in his last start, which came Friday on the road against the Tigers. He threw six innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits with a walk and six strikeouts in a 13-4 Cleveland victory. Plutko is 2-1 with a 5.71 ERA, a 1.21 WHIP, one walk and 13 strikeouts over 17.1 innings of work in his last three starts. In his 24th career appearance and 17th major league start, he pitches against the Rangers for the first time. As a result, this marks his first career outing at Globe Life Park.

Texas Rangers Seek to Hold Playoff Position

Texas won for the third time in four games as they rolled to the victory in the opening game of this set. The Rangers entered Tuesday second in the AL West, 8.5 games behind the Astros: they were tied with Boston for the second wild card spot. Texas got two hits from Danny Santana (two runs, two RBI) and Ronald Guzman (two runs) in the victory. Lance Lynn (8-4) turned in another quality start as he picked up the victory on the mound. He threw seven innings, allowing a run on six hits with no walks and nine strikeouts.

Joe Palumbo, barring a sudden change of fortune where the Rangers find a depth starter, is in line to make his second start of the year. He comes in with no record, a 9.00 ERA, a 1.50 WHIP, no walks and four strikeouts at the major league level. Palumbo didn’t factor in the decision in his major league debut, which came in the opening game of a doubleheader against the A’s at home on June 8. He threw four innings, allowing four runs on six hits with no walks and four strikeouts in an eventual 10-5 Rangers victory. In his second major league start, Palumbo pitches against the Indians for the first time. His major league debut came at Globe Life Park, giving him an outing at the park. In the minor leagues this season, Palumbo has no record with a 3.19 ERA, a 1.267 WHIP, 25 walks and 69 strikeouts over 53.2 innings in 11 appearances, 10 starts, with Double-A Frisco of the Texas League.

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The pitching matchup isn’t one that jumps off the page in this contest. After all, Plutko has made just four starts this season for the Tribe while Palumbo has one big league outing to his credit. With that said, you have to take into consideration the venue and the offensive production that the teams have put together this season. Texas has been terrific at Globe Life Park this season, posting a 25-12 mark entering Tuesday’s action. The Rangers also have been better offensively and that should be enough to carry them in this contest.

Prediction: Texas Rangers

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Texas has been an offensive force to be reckoned with this season as they entered Tuesday third in the majors with 5.65 runs per game on the year. Those numbers are even better at home as the Rangers put up 5.87 runs a contest at home with 52 long balls in 37 games. Texas is slashing a .260/.335/.460 line at home on the year. Cleveland has struggled offensively this season as they are 24th with 4.25 runs per game and stand 27th with a .232 team average. The Tribe has the upper hand on the mound, at least on paper, but can they translate that into a road victory?

The under is 10-1-1 in the Indians’ last 12 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600, 5-1-1 in their last 7 road games, 4-1-1 in their last 6 overall, 4-1-1 in their last 6 on grass and 12-3-1 in their last 16 vs. American League West. Texas has seen the under go 5-0 in their last 5 vs. American League Central, 4-1 in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning record and 4-1 in their last five on Wednesday. Given the way the Indians struggle offensively, this one ends up falling short of the number.

Prediction: Under

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The Rangers have put up some solid offensive numbers this season, which has helped offset the fact that the team is 22nd in team ERA with a 4.85 ERA and 28th with a 1.45 WHIP. Plutko has made just one start on the road this season and picked up the win. He has a 9.00 ERA and a 6.75 ERA in the first two innings of his outings this season. Six of the eight homers he’s given up have come in the first two frames. That works in the Rangers’ favor: look for this one to go their way after five innings.

Prediction: Texas Rangers

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Texas has been excellent offensively at home, which is why they have rung up 25 victories at Globe Life Park on the season. The Rangers have been able to disguise their soft pitching as outside of Lynn and Mike Minor, there hasn’t been much to work with on the mound. Texas gives up 4.78 runs per game at home this season and opposing hitters have a .265/.330/.446 slash line against their staff. Cleveland has to be better offensively to hang around but this one likely goes over the number after five innings.

Prediction: Over
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.