The fans of the Cleveland Indians on hand Wednesday will get the chance to witness one of the better pitching matchups of the entire season between two teams in the thick of the Wildcard hunt. Corey Kluber takes the ball for the home team against the Cy Young leader at this point in the season, Felix Hernandez. The two aces are each coming off of double-digit strikeout performances in their last start and will face a lot of pressure, looking to get a much-needed win for their teams. Seattle opens as a small -115 to -120 road favorite with a total of just 6.5 runs.
Both teams really need a win in this game. And losing with the pitcher on the mound that both teams feel should get them a win just about every time out will be a tough pill to swallow for whoever does end up on the losing side of things. As I said above, both pitchers are coming off of tremendous outings (as per usual) their last time out. Corey Kluber tossed a two-hit shutout over the Royals and dealt for 8.2 innings against the Tigers in the start before that. Both times, Kluber struck out 10 opposing batters. King Felix Hernandez has been just as hot for pretty much the entire season. Hernandez struck out 10 over just seven innings his last time out against Baltimore in a game Seattle lost 2-1. Hernandez’s ERA is still South of 2.00 and his WHIP well under 1.00 at 0.89.
It’s always tough on these games because rarely will oddsmakers go below 6.5 when handicapping a total. But to me, you really can’t go too low in this game. Neither offense has been playing well as of late and neither team has been winning. This means that both starters face a tremendous amount of pressure to match zero’s, which means I really think we’re in for something like a 3-2 game, if both offenses show up. It’s just as likely that we see a 1-0 or 2-1 type of game in Cleveland.
With Seattle’s strong ‘pen, the only thing that could worry an under bettor is Cleveland’s relief of Kluber. But he’s been going so deep into games lately that I’m not particularly worried about the ‘pen blowing it on this night. I’m advising you take the under and feel pretty good about it with two of the AL’s best going at each other.
Free Pick: Under 6.5 (-115)
YTD: 25-20-2 +1.88