Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#919 Detroit Tigers 9.5 vs.
#920 Cleveland Indians -295
Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 7:10pm EDT
Written by Sporty Jordy

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#919 Detroit
#920 Cleveland
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This article covers a past game!

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When and where: September 18, 2019, Progressive Field, Cleveland, OH, 7:10 PM ET

After splitting even with the Baltimore Orioles, the Detroit Tigers march into Progressive Field on Wednesday for a head-to-head showdown with the Cleveland Indians. This is obviously a must-win series for the Indians after losing to the Minnesota Twins over the weekend. As for the Tigers, who are widely recognized as the worst team in baseball, this is an opportunity for them to add a significant win to their resume before the season wraps up. Spencer Turnbull is expected to get the starting nod for the Tigers opposite of Cleveland’s Aaron Civale.

Tigers feisty enough to split with the Orioles

The Tigers got a nice consolation prize for their efforts over the weekend against the Orioles—a 2-2 split in a four-game series pitting the two worst teams in the league against one another. Even a split feels like a win these days for the Tigers, who haven’t won a full series since knocking off the Los Angeles Angels on July 31.

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While their games seem meaningless on the surface, the struggles have given the ball club a chance to take a long look at up-and-coming talent that could potentially help the team improve in the future. Granted, it could take a miracle at this point considering they are having a historically bad season—fifth in the AL Central division with a 45-104 record.

Turnbull, a second-year pitcher, will try his hand at upsetting the Indians when he starts on the mound on Wednesday. The 26-year-old righty is throwing a 4.77 ERA in a year where he’s retired 126 batters and amassed a 3-15 record. He has been handed a loss in seven of his last nine outings. Most recently, he was defeated by the Yankees after giving up seven hits and four runs in a five-inning effort.

Indians lose Kipnis for the season

The hits keep on coming for the Tribe’s infield.

With third baseman Jose Ramirez still recovering from a right hand injury, the team learned on Tuesday they would be losing second baseman Jason Kipnis for the season. The former two-time MLB All-Star suffered a broken hand after taking an awkward swing at a pitch during Sunday’s finale against the Twins.

It’s a rough time for the Indians to be losing key talent considering they’re desperately trying to climb back into the wild card race. They are currently trailing the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays with an 87-63 record on the season. The Indians had their four-game winning streak snapped and lost a pivotal three-game series to the Twins over the weekend, which was significant to their playoff hopes.

Civale hopes to keep the team hanging by a thread when he starts at pitcher on Wednesday against the Tigers. The 24-year-old rookie is throwing a 1.93 ERA with a 1.05 WHIP and a 3-3 record. In eight starts on the mound, he has limited every opponent to no more than two runs. He recently held the Twins to one run in five innings, while accumulating five strikeouts.

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It would be a depressing end for the Indians to see their playoff life snuffed out by the worst team in baseball. They cruised to a 7-2 victory in Tuesday’s series opener by leaning on good pitching and defense against a Tigers lineup that isn’t good enough to put up the points to compete with them. It has literally been the same sad story all season.

The Tigers have the worst on-base percentage (.296) in baseball and the second-worst slugging percentage (.391). As a collective unit, they couldn’t bust a grape at the plate. So that leaves all of the hope on their defense to play well enough to keep it a low-scoring contest for the offense to even have a shot at getting enough runs for a victory.

But even scoring will continue to be a lofty task on Wednesday when facing one of the league’s better defensive teams. Even if the Indians can’t get their offense going like they did on Tuesday night, they’ll still stifle the Tigers at the plate with the youngster Civale on the mound. He is coming off back-to-back games of holding the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox to only one run. Even the White Sox are better than the Tigers on offense.

Prediction: Cleveland Indians (-1 ½ -147)

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The Tigers have the second-worst run-scoring offense in baseball behind the Miami Marlins. That isn’t good company to keep on the offensive spectrum. Meanwhile, the Indians make a living out of playing low-scoring, tight ball games. They rank in the bottom-half of the league in scoring offense. I get the Tigers are the weekly punchline in the league, but even they’re good enough for a competitive game or two. I like the under betting total here.

Prediction: Under (9.5)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.