Cleveland Indians (0-0) at Detroit Tigers (0-0)
MLB Baseball: Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 1:10 pm (Comerica Park)
Shane Bieber (0-0) (0.00) vs. Matthew Boyd (0-0) (0.00)
The Line: Detroit Tigers +161 / Cleveland Indians -175 --- Over/Under: 7.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Cleveland Indians and the Detroit Tigers meet Thursday in Opening Day MLB action from Comerica Park.
The Indians managed to go 35-25 overall last season, placing second in the AL Central. Cleveland fell to the Yankees in the postseason. As for Detroit, they went 23-35 in 2020. The Tigers were fifth in the AL Central and missed out on the playoffs. Check back all season long for free MLB picks at Sports Chat Place.
Cleveland had a wild ride in 2020, battling the Twins and White Sox in a very tight American League Central race. When the dust settled the Indians had landed in second place, facing off against the Yankees in the Wild Card Series. Cleveland fell in consecutive games during that set.
For the Opening Day starter, Cleveland is rolling with Shane Bieber on the mound. Last year Bieber struck out 14 batters in six innings versus the Royals on Opening Day—a franchise record. He went 8-1 in 2020 with a 1.63 ERA and 122 strikeouts in 77.1 total innings.
Over on the Detroit side, they’re looking to put a rough season behind them. The Tigers went 23-35 last year, finishing in the basement of the division by three games. Detroit didn’t have a winning record versus any of their division foes, including a 3-7 mark against the Indians.
On Opening Day, the Tigers will roll with Matthew Boyd. Last season wasn’t a great one for Boyd, as he posted an MLB-high 6.71 ERA with 15 home runs allowed. He went 3-7 in 12 starts with 67 hits and 45 earned in 60.1 innings overall during 2020.
The Indians are 5-0 ATS in their last five versus the AL Central and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 overall. Cleveland is 63-29 ATS in their last 92 Thursday games and 75-35 ATS in their last 110 as a favorite.
Meanwhile, the Tigers are 52-129 ATS in their last 181 overall and 25-68 ATS in their last 93 home games. Detroit is 22-68 ATS in their last 90 versus the AL Central and 5-16 ATS in their last 21 after an off day.
PICK: I’m going to stick with the Indians in this one. Detroit needs a big turnaround in a lot of areas this season, and getting a good Opening Day start out of Boyd will go a long way toward alleviating concerns. Still, considering the Tigers won just three games versus Cleveland last year it’s tough to be optimistic. Bieber should deliver a solid five innings or so, and the Indians offense shouldn’t have too much trouble keeping Detroit at bay on the scoreboard.