Cleveland’s MLB odds are dropping quickly due to a struggling pitching staff, but defending Cy Young winner Cliff Lee has been getting a startling lack of run support. He’ll lead the Indians out on Friday night when they kick off a three-game set with the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field, and sportsbook players will see if he can avenge a loss to Justin Verlander in their last meeting.
Tigers vs Indians odds – Friday, May 8, 7:05 PM ET
Verlander (2-2, 5.66) stymied the Indians in his last outing, holding them to a run on two hits over seven strong innings of a 3-1 win at home, striking out a season-high 11 batters. This was the second consecutive quality start for the 26-year-old righthander, who is second in the American League in strikeouts, and he’s now allowed a single run in his last 14.0 innings. However, Verlander has struggled on the road this season with a 0-2 record in three starts, along with an 11.25 ERA, and opponents are hitting .357 off of him.
Lee (1-4, 3.92) is also coming on after a rough start to the season, but what does it matter if your offense doesn’t produce? The 30-year-old southpaw gave up three runs on 12 hits in seven innings against the Tigers, but the Cleveland bats couldn’t solve Verlander. In Lee’s last three starts, the Indians have managed a grand total of two runs, which has resulted in two losses and a no-decision for the defending Cy Young winner, and it doesn’t matter how great you pitch, if you get no run support, you get no wins, simple as that.
MLB odds should favor Cleveland at home, but only slightly. It seems that the Indians only score with Lee isn’t on the mound, as they’ve scored at least nine runs in three straight games following their last meeting with the Tigers. That’s far too much pressure for one man to bear. Verlander is coming around, but the jury is still out on him after a terrible 2008 and a shaky beginning to this year. You have to think that the Indians’ bats will come alive for Lee at some point, and they have to do it soon because they’re in danger of falling out of the American League Central race by June. Take Cleveland’s MLB odds on Friday.