Cleveland Indians (91-71) at Houston Astros (103-59)
|Date & Time||Friday October 5, 2018, 2:05 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Houston Astros -141 / Cleveland Indians +131 --- Over/Under: 6.5
The Cleveland Indians and the Houston Astros meet in game one of the ALDS from Minute Maid Park in Houston on Friday afternoon.
The Cleveland Indians got into the postseason after clinching the AL Central division crown with a 91-71 record, 13 games clear of 2nd place in the division and the only team to finish above .500 in the Central this season. Jose Ramirez led the Tribe by hitting 39 home runs and 106 RBIs this season while Francisco Lindor came right behind with 38 homers, along with a team-high 42 doubles and 183 hits this season. Michael Brantley led Cleveland with a .309 batting average with just 60 strikeouts in 570 at-bats this season. Corey Kluber led the Indians in wins and will start game one after posting a 20-7 record with a 2.89 ERA and 222 strikeouts this season. In his career, Kluber is 6-3 with a 2.83 ERA and 77 strikeouts against Houston.
The Houston Astros punched their ticket to the playoffs as champion of the AL West division by virtue of their 103-59 record, the most wins in a single season in franchise history. Alex Bregman led the ‘Stros with 31 home runs, 103 RBIs, 170 hits and 51 doubles while Jose Altuve led the Astros with a .315 batting average over 534 at-bats this season. Justin Verlander led Houston with 16 wins as part of his 16-9 record with 290 strikeouts and 214 innings pitched this season. In his career, Verlander is 20-24 with a 4.71 ERA and 341 strikeouts against Cleveland.
Cleveland is 20-9 in their last 29 road games against a right-handed starter and 16-7 in Kluber’s last 23 road starts while the over is 17-8-1 in their last 26 games against the AL West. Houston is 5-0 in Verlander’s last 5 starts and 21-6 in their last 27 games overall while the under is 7-0 in their last 7 games against a right-handed starter. Cleveland is 27-13 in the last 40 meetings between these two teams.
Verlander was stellar for the Astros in the postseason last year, finishing with a 2.21 ERA and a 4-1 record over 6 starts. JV was also very good in the regular season once again, but his numbers against Cleveland in his career are still just below average. Cleveland matches up well with Houston from 1 through 9, and it doesn’t hurt that we are getting Cleveland’s ace in Kluber at plus money. I think Cleveland has a legitimate chance to steal game one, and I think they do just that with a win on Friday.