Cleveland (Gomez) at Detroit (Scherzer) -160 O/U 9
It’s not hard to make a strong case for betting against Jeanmar Gomez these days. The Indians fifth starter has pitched like a fifth starter, lit up for 16 hits and 11 earned runs over 10.2 innings of work on his last two trips to the hill. His track record against the Tigers lineup is nothing short of awful. He faced them last September: 4.2 innings, ten hits and eight earned runs allowed. He faced them last April, again giving up ten hits (only three runs) in a short 5.2 inning outing. In his previous start against the Tigers in 2010, it was more of the same: eight runs and ten hits allowed in just three innings of work. With a 15.26 ERA, a 3.26 WHIP and a .465 batting average against in his career at Comerica Park, this is not a hurler primed for a strong effort tonight.
While Gomez is a dead nuts bet against hurler tonight, Detroit’s Max Scherzer is in great current form, and he beat the Indians three times last year. Scherzer went 4-0 in May, striking out 51 batters while walking only eight in 35.2 innings of work. The Indians are just 1-7 in their last eight meetings against Detroit at Comerica Park, but the Tigers have been slumping off late, falling six games behind Cleveland in the AL Central standings following last night’s loss. That ups the intensity for the home team in tonight’s game.
Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland held a closed door clubhouse meeting following last night’s loss. These post-meeting quotes tell the story of a team primed to bring their ‘A’ game against a vulnerable foe tonight: “This is a critical time for us. We can go in a corner, or we can come out swinging. If we come out swinging, well, we've got a chance. If not, we're going to be more vulnerable. You've got to make up your mind if you're going to come out swinging or take a beating. Our knees are a little wobbly right now. We're in a corner. You can feel sorry for yourself or you can come out swinging. We'll find out. I don't want any excuses.”