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Aces in Action with Tigers-Tribe

Updated: .July 9, 2017

By Charles Jay

Two pitchers who were selected to participate in the All-Star Game have disqualified themselves from action by starting on Sunday, but it will give viewers on ESPN the chance to see them oppose each other in this game that begins at 8:05 PM ET. The Cleveland Indians match up their ace, Corey Kluber, a former Cy Young winner, with Michael Fulmer of the Detroit Tigers, who won the Rookie of the Year award in 2016.

If you are an America’s Bookie customer, you have an opportunity to avail yourself of two different “Live Betting” options in your sportsbook interface.

Kluber (7-3, 2.85 ERA) and Fulmer (8-6, 3.20 ERA) were both originally chosen to be part of the American League team that will compete on Tuesday night in Miami at the All-Star Game, but the rule is that if you have started on Sunday, you are going to be ineligible. But I’m sure both of these guys are OK with that.

The Tigers are 38-48 and in fourth place in the AL Central, nine games behind the Indians. But in Major League Baseball, the wild card structure changes the situation for some teams. And in that respect, the Bengals can consider themselves still in it, just 6.5 games out of it.

In the baseball betting odds posted on this game, the Indians and Kluber are big favorites:

Cleveland Indians (Kluber) -220
Detroit Tigers (Fulmer) +180

Over 8 Runs -115
Under 8 Runs -105

Indians -1.5 Runs -110
Tigers +1.5 Runs -110

There is no value in this run line, from the Tigers’ standpoint at least, but you see that in this number there is the expectation that things may be tight. That is reflective of a couple of things – the ability of these pitchers to stop the opposition and their ability to go innings. With the All-Star break coming up, we might expect that the managers might be more liberal with pitch counts, although both of these guys routinely approach or exceed 100 tosses. In fact, Kluber has done it in each of his last five, while Fulmer has in each of his last four.

Fulmer has gone at least eight full innings in each of his last two starts, and his last three outings have graded out at an average of 68 in “Game Score.” Kluber has been red-hot, with an average Game Score of 80 in his last five, during which he has allowed just four earned runs in 39 innings. So our point is that even though Kluber is the guy who is “sizzling” to a greater degree right now, thus justifying his role as the favorite, both of these guys have been both durable and effective.

And throw in the fact that both of them do a pretty good job of keeping the ball in the park as well. They have combined to give up only 14 homers in 198 innings, and Fulmer has been the best in the league at “home runs allowed per nine,” while Kluber is #8 on that list.

So we know we have all the makings of a balls-out pitching duel, and for that reason we’ll go UNDER the total of eight runs, as the Charles Jay / America’s Bookie Challenge continues into the All-Star break.

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