Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Tarik Skubal delivers against the Cleveland Indians during the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
- The Detroit Tigers aim to complete the sweep when they close out a three-game series against Cleveland as home underdogs
- The Tigers now enjoy their first win streak vs Cleveland in six years, while Cleveland tries to snap a woeful road stretch that dates back to last August
- We’ve got you covered with all the odds and trends ahead Sunday’s AL Central clash at Comerica Park
The Detroit Tigers will be aiming to open their season with a three-game series sweep for the first time since 2015 when they hit the field on Sunday for the final date of their weekend set with Cleveland as +110 home underdogs.
The Tigers benefited from another steady performance from the team’s pitching staff while marching to a decisive 5-2 win on Saturday afternoon. The victory also marks the first time the Tigers have tallied consecutive wins over Cleveland in 44 meetings since May 2018. Listed as -133 road chalk ahead of first pitch in Sunday’s series finale at 1:10 pm ET at Comerica Park, Cleveland aims to avoid getting swept in a series-opening series for the first time since 2009.
Here’s a look at the Cleveland vs Tigers odds and trends ahead of Sunday’s clash between these AL Central rivals.
Cleveland vs Tigers Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Run Line at Fox-Bet||Total|
|Cleveland||-133||-1.5 (+125)||O 8.5 (-110)|
|Detroit Tigers||+110||+1.5 (-150)||U 8.5 (-110)|
*Odds as of April 3rd
Tigers Hurlers Stepping Up
Detroit entered 2021 amid uncertainty as to what to expect from their pitching staff. However, if the first two games of the campaign are any indication, Tigers hurlers are poised to be one of this team’s strengths. With Matthew Boyd getting the call as the team’s opening day starter, the Tigers limited Cleveland to just six hits in a 3-2 win. That stinginess continued in Sunday’s 5-2 victory, with Julio Teheran and four relievers giving up just seven total hits.
Ballgame. Tigers 5, Indians 2.
The Tigers are 2-0 in the A.J. Hinch era.
Quality ABs, solid start, good relief pitching, a little good luck. That combo hasn’t happened much around here in a while. First 2-0 start since 2016.
— Cody Stavenhagen (@CodyStavenhagen) April 3, 2021
The Tigers’ hot start marks a dramatic turnaround after the club failed to post back-to-back wins while going 6-19 through the final 25 games of the 2020 season. And the job of maintaining that momentum now falls to young southpaw Tarik Skubal, who is expected to make his highly anticipated first start of the season on Sunday.
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Tigers Career Stats vs Civale
Skubal Poised to Build on Strong Spring
Skubal earned a spot in the Detroit starting rotation with an impressive performance at spring training, and hopes to build on last season’s respectable big-league debut in the Motor City.
Tarik Skubal’s final line in his start against the Toronto Blue Jays today:
5.0 IP | 3 H | 1 R | 1 BB | 3 SO
Skubal is ready for the season 💪
— Tony Dombrowski (@tonydombrowski) March 28, 2021
The 24-year-old allowed two or fewer earned runs in six of his eight outings last season, including a three-hit, one-earned run performance in a 7-4 victory in Cleveland. He remained steady this spring, allowing just three total earned runs in 17.0 innings of work in Grapefruit League action.
Civale Looks to Remain Unbeaten vs Tigers
Cleveland is expected to respond with Aaron Civale in Sunday’s series finale. The 25-year-old righthander looks to remain undefeated when facing Detroit, as he gets set his fifth career start against the Tigers. Civale limited Detroit to just four total earned runs in 20.2 innings over three successful starts in his 2019 rookie campaign, but needed some run support to lead the club to a 10-5 win in his only start against the Tigers last season.
But while Civale enjoys a steady track record against Detroit, the question remains whether the Cleveland offense can be roused from their current slumber, particularly on the road. The club struggled badly down the stretch last season in games played away from Progressive Field, and appear to have carried over those woes into the new campaign.
Cleveland Career Stats vs Skubal
Cleveland Road Woes Continue
Cleveland has not been the same since enjoying a 10-game road win streak in August of last year, going 5-10 in 15 road contests since. Feeble offensive production has contributed to the club’s road woes, with Cleveland hitters in five of their past seven away contests, including four of their past five visits to Comerica Park.
2020 Cleveland Indians offense
2021 Cleveland Indians offense pic.twitter.com/N5IWWBUh6e
— Seth Wilson (@SethWilson51194) April 1, 2021
With these two teams opening the season headed in surprisingly different directions, it may be time to give the Tigers a little more respect than we’re used to. Look for Detroit to complete the sweep in a low-scoring affair.
The Picks: Tigers (+110); UNDER 8.5 (-110)
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Daniel has been writing about sports and sports betting for over 23 years. The seasoned pro has contributed to the likes of Sports Illustrated, Sportsnet, NESN, Bleacher Report, OddsShark, the Globe and Mail, and The Nation magazine.