Atlanta Braves vs. Cleveland Indians Free Pick - 8/28/13
Cleveland Indians (71-60) at Atlanta Braves (79-52)
MLB Baseball: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 7:10 pm (Turner Field)
Justin Masterson (R) (14-9) (3.504) vs. Paul Maholm (L) (9-10) (4.512)
The Line: Atlanta Braves -112 / Cleveland Indians +102 --- Over/Under: 7.5 See the Latest Odds
TV: SportsTime Ohio, SportSouth
The Cleveland Indians look to keep their postseason dreams alive with a win over the Atlanta Braves.
The Indians are at the point where every defeat is a punch to the gut with the team in chase mode in the American League Central and for the Wild Card as well. The Tribe took one of those punches in a 2-0 loss at Atlanta on Tuesday. Cleveland has still won seven of eleven but need to get right back in the win column. The pitching came through but the offense didn't with Danny Salazar giving up both runs in four frames before three relievers kept the Braves in check with four scoreless innings. The bats mustered six hits and walked five times for plenty of base runners but none would cross the plate. The Indians pin their hopes on ace Justin Masterson when they take the field in Atlanta. Masterson shoots for consecutive victories after defeating the Angels 3-1 with the lone run scored on five hits and five BB in 6.2 frames.
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta hasn't been knocking them dead over the past few weeks but thanks to a long hot streak, their lead in the National League East is big enough where they don't have to worry about it. Tuesday's victory was their second straight and simply moved them another game closer to locking up the division officially. It was all pitching Tuesday with the bats doing barely enough which was still plenty thanks to starter Alex Wood who allowed five hits and four free passes through 5.2 frames with the pen throwing up zeros to finish off the job. The bats were less impressive with just three hits and a pair of walks with Elliot Johnson ripping a two run triple. Left hander Paul Maholm takes the bump Wednesday to square off with the dangerous Indians lineup. Maholm shoots for a better effort than we saw in a 6-2 loss to the Cards where he allowed five runs (four earned) in 5.1 innings.
I believe Cleveland has the edge here bases on their pitching, but on paper they seem to have the fire power to hit Maholm. If they can shake Tuesday's poor showing off I'll back the visitors...