Cleveland Guardians vs. Detroit Tigers Prediction and Picks - July 11, 2024

Author: Chris King Last Updated: July 11, 2024 Game Start: 1:10pm EST

It’s the conclusion of an early week series on the diamond between a pair of AL Central opponents on the diamond in the Motor City. The Cleveland Guardians are on the road as they close out a four-game series with the Detroit Tigers on Thursday afternoon. These teams split the first two games of the series with the Tigers picking up a 1-0 victory in the opening game of the set Monday night before Cleveland responded with a 9-8, 10-inning triumph in the second game of the set Tuesday night. Which team picks up the win in the finale here on getaway day? This article was published prior to the conclusion of the third game of the series at Comerica Park on Wednesday night.

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Guardians Maintaining Top Spot in AL Central Race

Cleveland bounced back from getting blanked in the opening game of this series by prevailing in the second game of the series Tuesday night. The Guardians entered Wednesday with a 5.5-game lead over the Twins in the AL Central. On Tuesday, Cleveland got three hits each from Steven Kwan (two runs), Jose Ramirez (two runs, RBI) and Josh Naylor (two runs, four RBI) as part of a 14-hit attack. Josh Naylor (his 22nd) and Angel Martinez (his first) each went deep in the victory. Ben Lively didn’t factor in the decision as he allowed six runs on seven hits with one walk and four strikeouts over 5.1 innings of work. Scott Barlow (3-3) worked a scoreless ninth, allowing no hits with one walk and no strikeouts, to earn the win in relief. Emmanuel Clase worked the 10th, allowing one run (none earned) on two hits with no walks or strikeouts, for his 28th save of the year.

Spencer Howard takes the ball for his Guardians debut and his eighth appearance, his third start overall this season after spending the first part of the year with the Giants. He is 1-1 with a 5.63 ERA, a 1.833 WHIP, 11 walks and 21 strikeouts over 24 innings of work on the year. Howard didn’t factor in the decision in his last outing, which came in relief with the Giants on June 29 at home against the Dodgers. He threw 2.2 innings, allowing six runs on six hits with two walks and no strikeouts in a game San Francisco lost 14-7 in 11 innings. In his last three appearances, all in relief, Howard is 1-0 with an 8.64 ERA, a 2.16 WHIP, four walks and 11 strikeouts over 8.1 innings of work. Howard, in his 46th career major league appearance and 32nd start, pitches against the Tigers for the first time here. This marks his first career start at Comerica Park as well.

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Detroit Trying to Head Into All-Star Break With Momentum

Detroit battled back from a six-run deficit only to fall in extra innings Tuesday night in the second game of their four-game series with Cleveland. The Tigers entered Wednesday 43-49 and stood fourth in the AL Central, 15 games behind the Guardians for the top spot. They were eight games behind the Red Sox for the final wild card spot in the American League. On Tuesday, Detroit got three hits from Gio Urshela (two runs, three RBI) while Colt Keith (three runs, two RBI) added a pair in the loss. Urshela (his third), Keith (his eighth) and Justyn-Henry Malloy (his fifth) each homered in a losing effort for the Tigers. Kenta Maeda didn’t factor in the decision as he allowed six runs on seven hits with one walk and two strikeouts over 2.2 innings of work. Will Vest (1-3) took the loss as he allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits with one walk and one strikeout in 1.1 innings of work.

Jack Flaherty is on the mound as he makes his 16th start of the season for the Tigers in this contest. He is 5-5 with a 3.24 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, 14 walks and 115 strikeouts over 89 innings of work this season. Flaherty took the loss in his last start, which came against the Angels on the road back on June 27. He allowed five runs on seven hits with one walk and seven strikeouts over 5.2 innings in a 5-0 Tigers loss. In his last three starts, Flaherty is 2-1 with a 3.31 ERA, a 1.16 WHIP, four walks and 21 strikeouts over 16.1 innings of work. Flaherty makes his fifth career start against the Guardians in this contest. He is 0-2 with a 3.27 ERA, a 1.273 WHIP, six walks and 20 strikeouts over 22 innings of work against them. Flaherty is 1-3 with a 4.01 ERA, a 1.195 WHIP, 11 walks and 57 strikeouts over 42.2 innings in seven career starts at Comerica Park.

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Best Bets for Cleveland Guardians vs. Detroit Tigers

Full-Game Side Bet

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This one is an interesting matchup, especially after seeing the first two games in the series. Detroit won a pitchers’ duel in the opener before Cleveland won a slugfest in the second game of the set Tuesday night. We know that the Guardians have the major edge on the offensive side of things but throwing Howard here is cause for concern. He was designated for assignment by the Giants before getting acquired by the Guardians. While Flaherty missed his last start with a back issue, he has been great this season for the Tigers. We’ve seen Detroit’s bats be better of late as well and they should get to Howard. Give the edge to the Tigers in this contest as they close the series on a positive note.

Prediction: Detroit Tigers +125

Full-Game Total Pick

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Cleveland has seen the over go 45-40-5 in their 90 games heading into Wednesday’s action. The Guardians are 3rd in runs per game with 4.94 per contest, though that slips to 4.80 runs per game on the road. Cleveland has posted an average total of 8.81 runs per game and that falls to 8.64 runs per game away from Progressive Field. Detroit has seen the over post a 48-40-4 mark in their 92 games on the year entering Wednesday night. The Tigers are 21st in runs per game as they put up an average of 4.13 runs per contest and they have an average total of 8.47 runs per game this season. At home, Detroit averages 4.12 runs per game and has an average total of 8.65 runs per game on the year. With the Tigers hitting better and Cleveland always being dangerous at the dish, this game winds up over the total.

Prediction: Over 7.5

Author Profile

Chris King , "Chris King"

Chris King has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well, as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.