Home run (Safe bet)
Go with the Los Angeles Dodgers, on at 1.60, to win at home over the Cleveland Indians.
Last year, the Dodgers went on an epic winning streak en route to winning the National League West. They appear to be getting into a similar jag at the moment, which is bad news for the Indians in this Tuesday clash.
The Dodgers are a dominating 14-6 in their past twenty contests. They’ve been particularly sharp at home as of late as well. In their last ten contests at Dodger Stadium coming into this series, Los Angeles has an 8-2 record.
The Indians have a sub .500 winning percentage this year and so much of their failure has come on the road. No team in the American League has a worse road winning percentage than Cleveland (16-27).
In terms of the pitching matchup, the Dodgers have the edge as well. Hyun-Jin Ryu is 9-4 with a 3.12 ERA and has been particularly sharp in his past two outings (2.77 ERA). The Indians go with Trevor Bauer. He’s not been great this year (4-8 4.88 ERA) and he’s been even worse recently (1-2 with a 4.94 ERA in his past five starts). The one X-factor is that this will be Bauer’s first ever Major League start at Dodger Stadium. He is a local player and may be inspired by pitching in front of family. Still, even with this incentive, the Dodgers are just the best team.
Squeeze play (Gutsiest play)
In San Diego, look for the Padres and the Cincinnati Reds to combine for fewer than 6.5 runs; take it at 1.81.
All the elements are in place for a pitchers’ duel. San Diego is consistently a park that yields little offence. According to ESPN’s MLB Park Factors, Petco Park ranks twenty-sixth out of thirty MLB venues in run production.
Then you have two excellent pitchers throwing. The Padres Tyson Ross has been good this year (3.18 ERA), but he’s shined all the more when at home (2.39 ERA). His pitching counterpart, Johnny Cueto, has quite simply been the National League’s best pitcher at stifling run scoring. He currently leads the cicuit in ERA (1.88).
A final factor is the two lineups coming into this game. The Reds are below the league average in NL run production, while the Padres rank dead last. Considering the starting pitching, these subpar lineups will be particularly hard pressed to deliver.