The June 12 AL free pick offers very good value on the 1st place Cleveland Indians – who are 13 games ahead of tonight’s opponent the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central. It’s true the Indians are bringing up a pitcher from Triple A on Tuesday, but RH Adam Plutko does have MLB experience this year. Plus Chicago counters with the always unpredictable James Shields so why are Indians listed at just -135?
Indians Dominated White Sox Last Series – and Last Night
Tuesday night marks the 5th meeting between the White Sox and Indians this season and to say the series has gone all Cleveland’s way would be an understatement. Over the course of their first three meetings in Cleveland in late May, the Indians outscored the White Sox by an amazing 25-10 output. Jose Ramirez and Edwin Encarnacion both had two HR in that series was 5-9 before sitting out the finale. The Tribe picked up where they left off in the series opener last night with a 4-0 victory powered by Yan Gomes’ 2 RBI out of the 8-hole in the order. The Indians now own a top 10 offense in the majors in runs/game, BA, OPS, HR, and SB to name a few.
Having run support for the June 12th AL free pick would be good news for tonight’s starter Adam Plutko, who was just called up from the minors. The righty will be taking the 5th spot in the rotation maybe for good after posting an impressive 1.83 ERA in 9 AAA starts this year. Tonight actually marks Plutko’s fourth start of the year, the last coming on May 25th against these White Sox where he allowed 5ER in 5IP.
White Sox Seek a Better Outing From Shields
The O/U for the June 12th AL free pick is set at 10 despite it being on the chilly side in Chicago (68 degrees) with a wind blowing in at 5 MPH. This is because James Shields is taking the hill for the home squad, fresh off allowing 6HR in his last 2 starts. Shields gave up 7ER in his last start against the Twins. He had been pitching better prior to that performance, allowing just six total ER and zero HR in three previous starts. It’s hard to know what to expect from Shields tonight, not only because of his up-and-down performances lately but because he’s only been so-so against Cleveland. The Indians have a cumulative .232 average against the White Sox pitcher but Yonder Alonso is 3-9 with 3 HR vs. Shields.
If Chicago pitching does struggle, can they get some offense going to stay in the game? The White Sox managed just 2 hits last night against Carlos Carrasco and struck out 11 times against Monday’s Indians starter. The bats should be better tonight against a young Cleveland pitcher, but Chicago has still scored 2 ER or less in four of the last five games. The White Sox have only hit 2HR the last 7 days, one by Jose Abreu and one by Yoan Moncada. That just puts even more pressure on Shields in tonight’s contest.
June 12th AL Free Pick – Betting
As expected,the Indians are being heavily bet on to the tune of about 75% of the public expecting a Cleveland win. The line has moved a tremendous amount in the opposite direction however going from a CLE -170 open to the CLE -135 current. This line movement indicates a lower offensive output than expected from the Indians. Yes Cleveland starts a young player, but there’s been no production from the Chicago offense lately. If Shields can pull it together on this cool night in the windy city, the O/U is set way too high.
Free Pick: Cleveland Indians / Chicago White Sox *Under* 10