Cleveland Indians’ Franmil Reyes, right, congratulates Cleveland Indians’ Jose Ramirez after Ramirez hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Wednesday, April 7, 2021, in Cleveland. The Indians won 4-2. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
- The Tigers and Cleveland begin a three-game set on Friday at 7:10 pm EST from Progressive Field
- Detroit sends Julio Teheran (1-0, 1.80 ERA) to the mound against Zach Plesac (0-1, 3.00 ERA)
- See the odds and best bets below
A week ago, the Tigers spoiled Cleveland’s start to the 2021 season by taking two-of-three from them. Now Cleveland has a chance for revenge, and the opportunity to climb out of the AL Central basement.
After holding them to just four hits over five innings of one-run ball, Julio Teheran gets a second turn at Cleveland. Zach Plesac responds in a rematch of their season debuts. He gave up two runs over six innings in a hard luck loss.
Here’s a look at the odds as they get set to square off at Progressive Field on Friday night at 7:10 pm EST.
Tigers vs Cleveland Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Runline at DraftKings||Total|
|Detroit Tigers||+165||+1.5 (-129)||Over 8.5 (-107)|
|Cleveland||-195||-1.5 (+108)||Under 8.5 (-113)|
Odds as of April 8th
When Teheran and Plesac met the first time, Cleveland entered as heavy favorites. Even after Detroit stole Opening Day from them. The Tigers are still underdogs, and the Tigers vs Cleveland odds still heavily favor the home side.
The totals in their first series were 7.5, 8.5 and 8.5, with the under hitting in two of the three including this exact pitching match-up.
Teheran Looks For Consistency
After nine years spent with the Braves yielding good-to-great results, Teheran spent 2020 on the West Coast with the Angels. Bouncing between the AL and NL West did him few favors though, as he was pummeled with a 10.05 ERA in nine starts.
Not surprisingly, his 5.0 innings of four-hit, one-run ball against Cleveland to open 2021 was his best start in over a year.
Cleveland Career Stats vs Julio Teheran
The lone blemish on Teheran’s previous outing against Cleveland was a solo home run by Eddie Rosario. Along with a double by Josh Naylor, Teheran mostly kept Cleveland in check.
The Tigers took a chance on veteran Julio Teheran, who gets his first start of the season today. John Keating and Craig Monroe take a look at his journey to Detroit. pic.twitter.com/xuNB5l9qif
— Bally Sports Detroit (@BallySportsDET) April 3, 2021
Cleveland’s best hope would be Jose Ramriez figuring out whatever advantage Teheran has over him. Ramirez is hitting .350 with a pair of home runs to start the year, but would be hitting .388 if it wasn’t for his two groundouts last Saturday.
Franmil Reyes’ awakening from his early season funk (4-for-19, one home run) would also help a Cleveland team mired in the bottom-five in runs-for, but just below the league average in Slugging Percentage and OBP.
Plesac Hopes for Better Luck
After producing in a big way in 2020, there was no fall-off for Zach Plesac on the mound. He struck out four over six innings, while giving up six hits and two walks.
The difference was his run support.
In 2020, Plesac averaged 4.4 runs of support per start. The number was in the lower half of starters, but it was good enough for Cleveland to win four of his eight starts. But even in just giving up two runs, Plesac wasn’t going to get the win when his team scored just one for him.
Detroit Tigers Career Stats vs Zach Plesac
Outside of the first inning, where a Willi Castro triple and a Miguel Cabrera groundout did all the damage, Plesac cruised against the Tigers until the bottom of the sixth. And even then, he escaped unharmed.
94 pitches for Zach Plesac today in six innings. Just six swings and misses today. None on the change. Still allows just the two runs on six hits, two walks and four strikeouts.
— Indians Baseball Insider (@Official_IBI) April 3, 2021
Plesac’s lone outing against Detroit last year was an exercise in domination. He struck out 11 and walked one over 7.2 innings, allowing just five hits.
Cleveland Looking to Rebound
While it’s not the end of the world, a 2-3 record through one week isn’t where Cleveland wants to be. Especially opening up 1-2 against the Tigers after going 7-3 with a +15 run differential against them in 2020.
And while they’re near the bottom in runs created, a bottom-five BaBIP could be the reason for that. And their other statistics, including a top-ten ISO, could indicate a surge is coming.
When looking at Friday, it’s easier to see Plesac replicating his season-opening outing rather than Teheran. So backing Cleveland is the play.
The Pick: Cleveland (-195)
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Bryan has spent the last decade working in the sports industry. He can be found conducting sideline interviews for SKY Sports and gathering post-match reactions for BBC. The sportcaster’s broadcasts stream on CBC Sports, Game TV, and Premier TV in the UK.