Detroit Tigers (-134) over Cleveland Indians
Investment Advice: Please list both Justin Masterson and Rick Porcello
Analysis: Cleveland right-hander Justin Masterson takes the mound in terrible form as evidenced by his 6.38 ERA and 1.47 WHIP over his last three starts, including yielding 13 runs on 19 hits (4 home runs) in 18.3 innings of work. Masterson also owns a terrible 5.12 ERA and 1.34 WHIP on the road, including issuing 19 walks in 38.7 innings pitched. More importantly, Masterson is 2-6 with a 5.49 ERA and 1.79 WHIP in eleven career starts against the Tigers, including going 1-2 with a 6.45 ERA in four career outings at Comerica Park. Miguel Cabrera is batting .393 (11-for-28) in his career against Masterson. Masterson is also hampered by an imploding Cleveland bullpen that owns a pedestrian 4.37 ERA and 1.36 WHIP this season, including a 5.23 ERA and 1.54 WHIP in day games and a 6.17 ERA and 1.52 WHIP over the last seven games.
Masterson now faces a streaking Detroit offense that is batting .303 with a .371 on base percentage at home (5.8 runs per game) and .310 with a .372 on base percentage over the last seven games (5.6 runs per game). Conversely, Cleveland’s scuffling offense is batting just .254 with a .310 on base percentage versus division opponents (4.5 runs per game) and .216 with a .282 on base percentage over the last ten days (3.7 runs per game). Finally, today’s home plate umpire, Andy Fletcher, is a 66.2% winning proposition for home teams over the last three seasons. In fact, road teams are averaging a mere 3.6 runs per game over that period of time with Fletcher behind the plate (5.0 runs per game for home teams). With Cleveland standing at a money-burning 12-28 (-14.6 units) as road underdogs of +125 or less, take the Tigers and invest with confidence.
Home/Road Dichotomy: Detroit is 56-23 in its last 79 home games, whereas the Indians are 17-36 in their last 53 trips to Detroit. The foregoing angles give us a solid 92-40 (70%) winning situation.