The Cleveland Indians will host the Tampa Bay Rays tonight in a one-game Wild Card in the 2013 MLB Postseason. The game is scheduled for an 8:07 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on TBS. The odds for the game currently have Tampa Bay favored to win.
The Rays will start Alex Cobb in this one — he's been a strikeout machine all season. Tampa Bay was able to beat Texas on Monday night to keep their season alive and if they can win this game, will face the Boston Red Sox in the divisional series beginning on Friday.
In this series the Rays held a 4-2 advantage during the regular season. Cleveland skipper Terry Francona is taking a big risk by giving the ball to rookie Danny Salazar in the biggest game in a long time for the Indians.
Both teams managed to win 92 games during the regular season (Rays picked up 92nd on Monday). Both teams averaged less than 5 runs per game and hit in the mid .250 for the season. But both have pretty solid pitching staffs and in a one game situation, it will be interesting to see which team plays well.
The Indians went out and got Nick Swisher and surprised the league in signing Michael Bourn. Neither had amazing seasons stat-wise, but both brought a winning type of attitude to a team that was in need of some.
And is there a hotter team in the league right now than Cleveland? They won 10 games in a row to make the playoffs, which is tied for fifth place all-time by a team to finish a regular season.
In Cobb's only start against the Indians this season he got a no decision despite striking out six hitters in 7 1/3 innings and allowing just four hits. Current Indians hitters have a .230 average in 61 plate appearances against him.
Salazar has never faced a batter from the Tampa Bay lineup.
Hard to argue with the Indians in this one, they've won 10 straight heading into tonight's game. They're also playing at home, where they won 51 games this season. The Rays were just 41-41 on the road this season and have to come in after traveling to New York, Toronto and Texas in a week's span. Now they travel to Cleveland. Despite the rookie getting the start, we like the Indians.
Free Pick: Indians 4, Rays 2
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