Cleveland Indians (60-52 SU, 48-64 RL, 42-62-8 O/U) vs Tampa Bay Rays (59-57 SU, 58-58 RL, 60-53-3 O/U)
When: 6:10 PM EDT, Saturday, August 12, 2017
Where: Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida
Lines: Tampa Bay -134/ Cleveland +124
Tonight on the MLB diamond, the American League Central will square off with the American League East as the Cleveland Indians battle it out with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in Tampa, Florida in game three of their four-game series. Pitching Probables: The Indians will trot out Mike Clevinger (5-4, 4.00 ERA) and he will be opposed by Chris Archer (8-6, 3.80 ERA).
The Offense Has Left The Building
The Cleveland Indians have had a strong offense for much of the year and they just added a big piece to it as they made a trade with the Mets to get Jay Bruce, who led them in homers with 29, while driving in 61 runs. His first game for them should be on Friday night and they could really use his bat right now as they have scored just nine total runs in their last five games after falling to Tampa Bay 4-1 on Thursday night. They just couldn’t get anything going against Blake Snell in that game. It may not get easier as this series goes on as the Rays have been hot on the mound of late. The Indians have now gone 29-25 on the road and despite the loss, they still have a 3.5 games lead in the American League Central, but they do need to be careful as the Twins are surging at the moment. Taking the hill for the Indians in this one will Mike Clevinger and he has gone 5-4 with a 4.00 ERA in 16 games (14 starts) on the year, including 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in his last three starts and 4-2 with a 3.10 ERA in eight starts on the road. Clevinger has gone 6-7 with a 4.50 ERA in 24 career starts overall and this will be his first career start against the Rays.
Cleveland has been a solid offensive team this year so far as they come in ranked 9th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.79 rpg, while also ranking 9th in hitting at .259 and 22nd in homers with 131. On the mound they have been strong so far this year as they come in ranked 4th in the league in ERA at 3.74, while also ranking 2nd in WHIP at 1.21.
Snell Keeps The Indian Offense At Bay
The Tampa Bay Rays have really struggled on offense of late, so they may need to rely on their pitching to keep them in the race for a playoff spot. That pitching has been tough of late as they have now allowed just 2.5 rpg over their last eight games after topping the Indians by a score of 4-1 in game one of this series. Blake Snell has not had a great season so far for the Rays, but he came up with a strong effort in game one as he held the Indians to just one ER on four hits in 6.1 innings of work in the game. He got a no-decision and despite the solid effort, is still 0-6 with a 4.69 ERA on the year. The game was tied at 1-1 until Corey Dickerson hit a 3-run homer in the bottom of the 8th to put the Rays up for good. Tampa Bay is still seven games out of first in the American League Central, but they have now tied the Seattle Mariners for the 2nd wildcard spot in the AL. Getting the nod for the Rays in this one will be Chris Archer and he has gone 8-6 with a 3.80 ERA in 24 starts on the year, including 1-0 with a 4.00 ERA in his last three starts and 3-3 with a 3.32 ERA in 12 starts here at home. Archer has gone 11-8 with a 3.48 ERA in 26 career starts in August and he is 20-29 with a 3.22 ERA in 75 career starts here at the Trop, while against the Indians he has gone 0-6 with a 6.00 ERA in six starts.
Tampa Bay has been a bit below average on offense this year so far as they come in ranked 21st in the league in scoring, putting up 4.42 rpg, while also ranking 19th in hitting at .249 and 8th in homers with 163. On the mound they have been solid so far as they come in ranked 8th in the league in ERA at 4.07, while also ranking 11th in WHIP at 1.29.
- 2-5 in their last seven vs. the American League East
- 0-6 in their last six road games vs. a team with a winning home record
Tampa Bay is:
- 12-5 in Archer’s last 17 starts following a Quality Start in his last appearance
- 4-1 in their last five home games vs. a team with a winning road record
The Cleveland Indians have not really played well of late and have allowed the Minnesota Twins to creep back in the race for the division title, but the Rays have also had their struggles of late. Tampa Bay did win game one of this series, thank to strong performance from Blake Snell and a homer from Corey Dickerson. The Indians have really had their issues at the plate of late and it may not get a whole lot better in this one with Chris Archer toeing the slab for the Rays as he has a 3.32 ERA here at home so far. He does have a 6.00 ERA in his career against the Indians, but Cleveland has scored just nine total runs in their last five games, so he should have a good outing in this one, which will give him a great chance at getting his first win against the Tribe as he is 0-6 lifetime against them. Mike Clevinger has struggled of late as he is 0-1 with a 6.57 ERA in his last three starts and I look for a struggling Tampa Bay offense to tag him for a few. Look for the Rays to grab a big win in this one.
Pick: Tampa Bay -134
Both teams are struggling right now and this is not the time of year for that to be happening as the playoffs are just around the corner. The Rays scored a big win in game one of this series, but still they scored just four runs in that game and have now averaged just 1.33 rpg in their last six games and they will be facing Clevinger, who may be struggling at the moment, but still has a 3.10 ERA on the road. Chris Archer has a 6.00 ERA in his career against the Indians, but they have scored just nine total runs in their last five games and Archer has a 3.32 ERA at home for the year. Prior Friday night’s game, Cleveland’s last five games have averaged just 5.40 rpg, while Tampa Bay’s last eight have averaged just 4.5 rpg. Look for a pitcher’s duel in this one.