The Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians have been battling for the top spot in the American League Central over the first half of the season. Starting Friday, they’ll go head-to-head for four straight games as we get closer to the All-Star break. The series will be held in Cleveland at Progressive Field and the Indians are favored on the MLB odds for the first matchup.
Rick Porcello (4-6, 5.21) vs. Justin Masterson (10-6, 3.48) – Friday, 7:05 PM ET
Odds: Indians -130
Porcello has dropped three decisions in a row, allowing six runs or more in two of those games, but he has a win against the Indians in two starts with a 2.25 ERA and in his career, 6-3 in 17 starts with a 3.87 ERA. Masterson is coming off his third complete game of 2013, and he’ll be out to redeem an earlier loss to the Tigers that took his record to 2-7 in 15 games (12 starts) against Detroit with a 5.09 ERA. At home, Masterson is 6-1 in nine starts with a 2.29 ERA.
Anibal Sanchez (6-5, 2.76) vs. Carlos Carrasco (0-3, 8.17) – Saturday, 4:05 PM ET
Sanchez is returning from a stint on the disabled list due to a strained right shoulder, but when he is good, he is very good, so hopefully he is healthy. Sanchez is 2-1 in four career starts against the Indians with a 1.75 ERA, however, he is 1-4 in seven road starts with a 4.06 ERA. Carrasco is looking for his first win of 2013 and gave up six runs for the second time in five outings; the other time came in Detroit and he is now 1-3 in four starts against the Tigers with an ERA of 9.50.
Doug Fister (6-5, 3.80) vs. Corey Kluber (6-5, 4.33) – Sunday, 1:05 PM ET
Fister has given up six runs or more in two of his last three starts, but he has decent splits against the Indians, going 5-3 in 12 starts with a 2.24 ERA. His ERA on the road (3.83) isn’t much higher than his home ERA (3.76), so Fister is quite balanced. Kluber has allowed 13 runs in his last 15.2 innings of work, and two of his losses in 2013 have come against the Tigers, posting an ERA of 9.00, taking his career mark against them to 1-3 in five games (four starts) with a 7.88 ERA. However, his home ERA of 3.14 is much better than his 4.99 on the road.
Max Scherzer (13-0, 3.09) vs. Scott Kazmir (4-4, 4.86) – Monday, 7:05 PM ET
Scherzer continues to roll after a victory in Toronto and two of his wins this season have come against the Indians, posting a 2.81 ERA. He is now 7-4 in 13 starts with a 4.76 ERA against Cleveland. On the road, Scherzer has been reliable on the betting lines with a 2.16 ERA as opposed to 4.01 at home. Kazmir has yet to face Detroit this season, and against them over his career, he is 4-4 in 11 starts with a 3.79 ERA. All four of Kazmir’s 2013 wins have come at home, putting up an ERA of 4.26 so far.