Cleveland Indians (-145) over Minnesota Twins
Investment Advice: Please list both P.J. Walters and Corey Kluber
Analysis: Minnesota takes the field with an anemic offense that is batting .246 with a .314 on base percentage this season (4.2 runs per game), including hitting .224 with a .299 on base percentage on the road (3.7 runs per game), .241 with a .310 on base percentage versus right-handed starters (4.1 runs per game) and .236 with a .310 on base percentage versus division opponents (3.6 runs per game). The Twins’ woeful offense is further exemplified by the fact that they have just 199 extra-base hits this season (2390 at-bats), while also striking out an incredible 553 times. Now, Minnesota has to face the most underrated starting pitcher in baseball – Corey Kluber – who takes the mound with a 3.58 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 2013. Kluber saves his best for the home faithful before whom he has a 2.45 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in four starts this season. I also like the fact that Kluber finds himself in good form with a 2.05 ERA and 1.09 WHIP over his last three starts, including garnering a 19/4 K/BB ratio.
Kluber’s success has been predicated upon improved command and control (60/12 K/BB ratio; 60.3 IP) as he has struck out eight or more batters four times this season. What’s even more interesting is that Kluber’s skill set is more indicative of a an ERA south of 3.00, but he has been victimized by an unusually high hit rate (34%), together with an unsustainable 13% hr/f rate. Once both of those statistical categories correct themselves (i.e. return to the norm), Kluber should see his ERA decline from 3.58 to a figure closer to 3.00. Let’s also note that Kluber is supported by a solid Cleveland bullpen that owns a 3.68 ERA and 1.24 WHIP at night, a 3.27 ERA and 1.22 WHIP versus division opponents and a 1.42 ERA and 1.05 WHIP over the last seven games.
Meanwhile, Minnesota right-hander P.J. Walters is just another pedestrian arm in Minnesota’s endless parade of replacement-level pitchers. While Walters has a 3.23 ERA this season, he has yielded 40 hits in 30.7 innings of work (18/9 K/BB ratio). Walter’s 89.7 mph fastball makes him far too hittable, and he has been aided by an unsustainable 83% strand rate. Walters now has his most difficult task of the 2013 campaign against a Cleveland squad that is 23-14 (+8.1 units) at home and has won seven of its last 9 games. I should also note that Walters has a career 5.79 ERA and 2.14 WHIP versus the Indians, including allowing 8 runs on 16 hits in 9.3 innings pitched (5/4 K/BB ratio). Finally, tonight’s home plate umpire, James Hoye, represents a 60% winning proposition for home teams over the last three seasons, including a 68.8% win rate in 2013. Take Cleveland and invest with confidence.
Oskeim Sports 2013 Documented Profit/Loss Statement:
January: +28.03 net stars
February: +15.47 net stars
March: +33.05 net stars
April: -12.1 net stars
May: +22.74 net stars
Overall Net Profit: +87.2 stars
Annual Return on Investment: +325%