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Detroit Tigers vs. Cleveland Guardians May 22 Betting Preview
What was three is now two. After Saturday’s game between the Detroit Tigers (13-26) and Cleveland Guardians (17-19) was postponed due to rain, the two teams will play just two games in this series, with the postponed game being made up on July 14.
The Guardians will host Sunday’s finale at Progressive Field, with first pitch scheduled for 1:40 pm ET.
After taking Friday’s opener 6-1, the Guardians will be looking for the sweep on Sunday. In Friday’s game, Aaron Civale picked up the win while Jose Ramirez hit his team-leading ninth home run of the season.
The pitching matchup on Sunday will feature Alex Faedo (0-1, 2.87 ERA) taking the ball for the Tigers against the Guardians’ Shane Bieber (1-2, 3.72 ERA).
The Guardians are the favorites playing at home on Sunday. They are -190 to win while the Tigers’ moneyline sits at +160. The runline features Detroit +1.5 (-137), and the over/under for total runs is 7.5.
By The Numbers
From a power standpoint, the Guardians have the edge. They rank 21st in the majors with 33 home runs on the season. The Tigers sit in dead last with just 20 home runs to date.
Defensively, it has been Detroit with the advantage. They rank 12th in staff earned run average at 3.67. The Guardians rank 24th with a 4.01 ERA.
Tigers Have To Improve On Road Record
Already 10.5 games out of first place, the Tigers need to improve in all facets if they have any hope of competing in the AL Central this season. One area where they really need to improve is on the road, as they are just 4-13 away from Detroit this year.
While the defense and pitching has been alright, their offense has struggled in a major way. One of their biggest offseason acquisitions was shortstop Javier Baez, and he just hasn’t performed well. In 117 at bats, he is hitting just .205/.244/.308 with two home runs and 11 runs batted in.
Rookie Spencer Torkelson leads the team with four home runs, but he has only hit .179/.290/.321 on the season.
In fact, of the nine players that have a home run for the Tigers this season, only three of them are hitting above .205. That in itself is reflective of the struggles the offense is having.
Guardians Hope Pitching Catches Up To Offense
The Guardians have long been known as a team that consistently puts out great pitching year in and year out, while their offenses have struggled at times. While on paper that seemed to be likely again this year, it has actually been the offense that has carried the team through parts of the season.
On Sunday, the team will turn to their ace in Shane Bieber, to close the door on the Tigers. While he has had a couple of rough outings this season, he was solid in his last, going six innings and allowing just one earned run in a no-decision versus the Twins.
In 40 games at home, he is 16-11 with a 4.02 ERA, while on the road in his career, he is 26-9 with a 2.80 ERA.
Offensively, the team welcomed back Josh Naylor recently from the COVID-19 list. He has been a welcomed surprise for the offense. In 72 at bats, he is hitting .347/.377/.611 with five home runs and 22 runs batted in.
Bieber Looks To Improve At Home
Throughout his career, Shane Bieber has actually been a better road pitcher than at home. On the road, he is a combined 26-9 with a 2.80 ERA in 48 games started. At Progressive Field, he is 16-11 with a 4.02 ERA in 39 games started.
Regardless, Bieber has the ability to shut down an opposing lineup, and he will look to do exactly that against a Tigers team that has struggled to score runs this season.
The Tigers showed last year that they have the ability to be pesky, but this is a great opportunity for the Guardians to take a home series as they look to stay in the mix in the AL Central.