Thursday afternoon baseball and we will see the Cleveland Indians take on the Tampa Bay Rays in game 4 of their 4 game series from the Trop. The game is scheduled for a 12:10 (ET) pm start time and it will be televised live locally . Currently the odds have Tampa Bay favored at -168, while Cleveland is dogs of +155. The total for the game sits at 7.5 runs.
Free Analysis: Cleveland is in desperate need of a winning streak to get their feet under them and make the White Sox sweat in the American League Central race. The Indians might be on the verge of one after taking an 10-6 victory over Tampa Bay on Tuesday. This was an important win on Wednesday with the offense doing some damage with runners on base. After going 3-for-17 with runners in scoring position in splitting the first two games, the Indians exploded with a 7-for-12 performance in their 10-6 victory Wednesday. The Tribe have struggled at times to getting both the arms and bats on the same page and need both units to perform well going forward. The one concern Wednesday was the poor effort from Justin Masterson who gave up four runs on seven hits and seven bases on balls in 4.1 frames. The offense bailed him out with a14 hit attack with Carlos Santana blasting a three run homer while Jack Hannahan drove in two. Ubaldo Jimenez takes the ball in the series finale' needing to string together some quality efforts. Jimenez is 2-4 over his last six starts with wildness and the long ball hurting him with 19 walks issued and seven home runs surrendered in this stretch. He was sharp against Tampa Bay in his previous start, limiting the club to two runs on five hits while striking out eight over six strong innings. The Rays’ roster is hitting .185 against Jimenez, although Luke Scott is 2-for-2 with a home run. All Tampa Bat has done over the past few weeks is fumble around at the plate and lose too many games. The reward has been second place in the American League East which leads me to believe the division is the Yankees and four other teams. After blowing a 4-0 lead on the way too another defeat, the Rays have dropped seven of eleven with a challenged offense failing to capitalize. While Cleveland was able to get the big hits on Wednesday, Tampa Struggled as they were 0-for-4 with the bases loaded. That's shocking as they are tied for third in the majors with a .338 average (25-for-74) in that situation. Luke Scott, who went 4-for-4 on Wednesday, is 12-for-26 in his last six games against Cleveland dating back to July 6. In his last 12 contests against all other teams, he is 0-for-38. Left hander David Price draws the assignment on the mound looking to continue his hot work. The sensational lefty shares the major league lead with 12 victories, is 4-0 in his last five starts and has gone 4-0 with a 2.01 ERA lifetime against the Indians. Price has pitched at least seven innings in his last five outings and the Indians’ roster is hitting .195 against him. The Indians are now 4-11 in their last 15 games here.
Free Pick: We will look to the Under in this one. Ubaldo Jiminez doesn't have really good numbers for this one as he has a 6.48 ERA on the road and a 6.09 ERA in his day starts, but one thing he has done right is not have two bad starts in a row in a while. In his last start Ubaldo was lit up for 8 ER's vs Toronto. Now in his previous 5 times that he has allowed 4 ER's or more in a game he has come back to post a 1.85 ERA in his next start, with all 5 starts being quality starts. Tampa did score 6 runs last night, but this is not an offense that can consistently do that night after night, plus in 2 career starts vs the Rays Ubaldo has allowed just 3 ER's in 13.2 innings of work. David Price is the Ace of this staff and he has a 2.25 ERA at home and in days starts. In his last a 10 start he has allowed 2 ER's or less 8 times, while in 2 career starts here vs the Tribe he has allowed 0 ER's in 13 innings of work. Cleveland does hit lefties all that well as they have a .220 average vs them overall and a .230 average vs them on the road. Cleveland also score just 3.97 rp/9 off of lefties on the road, compared to 4.97 rp/9 off of righties. I look for this one to hit at the most 6 runs.
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MLB Free Picks: Cleveland Indians at Tampa Bay Rays - Best BetWhat baseball bettors need to know about Indians at Rays on Thursday (7/19/12) - with Pregame.com's Vegas Runner and a free Best Bet from host Marco D'Angelo.