Cleveland Indians vs. Detroit Tigers Odds Analysis - Free Pick

August 14, 7:10 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Indians -180/Tigers +160

Four teams in the AL Central are better than .500 at the moment, including the Indians and Tigers, who begin a three-game series in Detroit Friday night. Cleveland was expected to contend for a playoff spot, but Detroit was not. And yet here they are. Who do we like here for our free MLB pick?

MLB Betting Odds

Listed Pitchers: Aaron Civale (1-2, 2.84) vs. Ivan Nova (1-0, 5.74)

Friday's MLB betting odds opened at bet365 with visiting Cleveland at around -175 over home-standing Detroit, with an over/under of nine runs. Early betting action then bumped the Tribe about a nickel, to around -180.

Cleveland could also be found "getting" around -110, giving the run and a half on the MLB run line.

Indians vs. Tigers Set-Up

Cleveland just got swept two games at home by the Cubs, losing Tuesday 7-1 and Wednesday 7-2. The Indians then had Thursday off.

Just before that, the Tribe took two of three games from the White Sox in Chicago, and just before that, they took three of four games from Cincinnati.

At 10-9 overall, Cleveland occupies fourth place in the AL Central, two games behind first-place Minnesota. But the Indians are also just a half-game behind second-place Detroit, and second place makes the playoffs this season.

Meanwhile, Detroit just dropped two of three games at home to the White Sox, losing Wednesday's series rubber match 7-5. The Tigers then also had Thursday off.

Just before that, Detroit swept three games at Pittsburgh.

At 9-7 overall, the Tigers trail the first-place Twins by a game and a half in the AL Central, but they're also a half-game ahead of Cleveland and the White Sox in the battle for second place and a playoff spot.

Last year the Indians took the season series from Detroit 18 games to one!

Friday's Starting Arms

Nova is 0/3 on quality starts this season. Last Saturday, he gave up five runs and six hits through five innings against Pittsburgh, although the Tigers won that game anyway 11-5. Before that, he came within one out of a QS, holding Kansas City to two runs through 5 2/3 innings, although Detroit lost that game 5-3.

On the season, Nova has allowed ten runs and 17 hits through 15 2/3 innings, with seven walks and eight strikeouts. The Tigers are 2-1 with Nova this year.

Last year, pitching for the White Sox, Nova started four games against Cleveland, allowing 12 runs – 11 earned – and 31 hits through 25 1/3 innings. The ChiSox lost three of those four games.

Civale is 3/3 on quality starts this season. Last Friday, he held the White Sox to one run and five hits through seven innings, although the Indians lost that game 2-0. Just before that, he limited Minnesota to three runs through six frames, with nine strikeouts, but the Tribe lost that game 3-1.

On the season, Civale has allowed six runs and 17 hits through 19 innings, with two walks and 23 strikeouts. But the Indians are only 1-2 with him this year.

In three starts vs. Detroit last year, Civale allowed just three runs and 12 hits through 20 2/3 innings. Cleveland won all three of those games.

Friday's Batting Splits

Cleveland is batting an ML-low .192 against right-handed pitching this season, with a .306 team OBP and a paltry .281 team slugging percentage. The Indians have also been held to two runs or less 12 times through their first 19 games.

Detroit is batting .209/.278/.386 vs. RH pitching this season. The Tigers have also scored at least five runs four times in their last six games, including 11- and 17-run efforts in the recent series against the Pirates.

MLB Betting Trends

  • Detroit is 4-6 at home this season.
  • Cleveland is 4-5 on the road this season.
  • Detroit is 5-5 vs. right-handed starters this season.
  • Cleveland is 8-8 vs. RH starters this season.
  • Detroit is 5-6 as an underdog this season.

Totals Report

  • Unders are a lopsided 15-4 in Indians games this season.
  • Unders are 9-7 in Tigers games this season.
  • Unders played 40-35 in games played at Comerica Park last season.
  • Unders played 10-8 in Indians-Tigers games last season.

Free MLB Pick

Civale owns the edge in the pitching match-up, but the Indians just aren't scoring any runs. Meanwhile, we believe Detroit is on the improve under Gardenhire. The Tigers may not be able to continue to play above .500 for the full 60 games this season, but they're a live dog here. We'll take the home-dog price.