The Cleveland Indians will emerge with a win in Baltimore against the Orioles on Thursday.
Cleveland is relying on Corey Kluber to pitch them to victory. While Kluber is a relatively obscure player, he’s been very good for the Indians in 2013. He has a solid ERA (3.68) and gets a lot of swings and misses from hitters (in large part thanks to an excellent slider).
But what stands out is how much Kluber is improving. He’s cut down his walk ratio from 2012 and throughout this campaign he’s shown resiliency. After a rough May in which he posted a 5.17 ERA, he’s bounced back in June registering a 2.60 ERA.
Kluber squares off against Miguel Gonzalez, who has also been solid this year. That said, he’s been a bit jittery at home (4.15 ERA compared to 3.38 on the road). This should be a good contest, but I’d go with Cleveland at 2.10.
Zach Greinke pitching at home for the Los Angeles Dodgers is a nice bet against the Philadelphia Phillies. The well-travelled Greinke has shown one very clear consistent trait: no matter who he’s pitched for, he’s always done it best at that club’s home park.
In a career that’s included stops in Kansas City, Milwaukee and LA (both with the Angels and now the Dodgers), he’s 58-30 with a 3.37 ERA at home and 37-50 with a 4.20 ERA on the road. This year follows that trend. At Dodger Stadium, Greinke owns at 3-0 record and a 2.12 ERA; when he’s forced to go elsewhere he’s 1-2 with a 5.60 ERA.
The pitcher will also benefit from a Dodger club that final seems to be playing well. They enter this tilt coming off a three-game series win against their arch-rival San Francisco Giants. Phillies starter Jonathan Pettibone is terrible on the road (6.84 ERA) and after a solid beginning to the year is regressing quickly. He has a 5.31 ERA in June.
Best bet: Side with Greinke and take his Dodgers at 1.52