The last time Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer took the mound in the ALCS in Toronto, he nearly broke the Internet as his right pinky finger was gushing blood due to a cut suffered by Bauer a few days before the start. Social media went nuts. Bauer should be fine, however, for Wednesday’s Game 2 of the World Series against the Chicago Cubs, but the Tribe are likely going to be home underdogs on MLB odds against 2015 Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta of the Cubs.
How To Bet the Chicago at Cleveland World Series Game 2 Expert Pick & TV Info
— MLB (@MLB) October 25, 2016
When: Wednesday, Oct. 26, 8 PM ET
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland
Probable pitchers (away/home): Jake Arrieta/Trevor Bauer
Opening MLB Lines: TBA
Why Bet on Chicago?
Arrieta will get some Cy Young votes this year too but won’t win it. He had a historic season last year but was just pretty good this year with an 18-8 record and 3.10 ERA in the regular season. Arrieta ranked among NL leaders in wins (18, t-3rd), ERA (3.10, 10th), opponent’s OBP (.277, 6th), slugging (.306, 1st) and OPS (.583, 2nd). He had nine starts of at least 6.0-scoreless innings, tied for the most in the majors (also, Tanner Roark). His 11 starts allowing three or fewer hits also tied for the major league lead (with Dan Straily and Tom Koehler). He had a 3.59 ERA (39 ER/97.2 IP) in 15 road starts. Arrieta limited opponents to a .194 batting average (138-for- 710), including identical .194 marks by righties (76-for- 391) and lefties (62-for- 319).
Arrieta had been lining up behind Kyle Hendricks through most of the postseason, but after Hendricks pitched Chicago’s final NLCS game against the Dodgers, manager Joe Maddon decided to switch up his rotation order a bit and start Arrieta in Game 2.
The Cubs have lost both of Arrieta’s playoff starts. He pitched Game 3 of the NLCS, a 6-0 loss to the Dodgers. LA catcher Yasmani Grandal was 0 for 5 with three strikeouts against Arrieta in his career before he launched a 3-2 pitch into the right-field pavilion in the fourth for a 3-0 lead. Grandal drove in Josh Reddick, who singled and stole second and third. Justin Turner homered on the first pitch leading off the sixth to chase Arrieta, who gave up four runs and six hits in five innings.
Arrieta tossed a quality start in Game 3 of the NLDS at San Francisco, allowing two runs in 6.0 innings … added a three-run homer in the second inning. He was in line for the win but took a no-decision afterthe Giants rallied for a 6-5, 13-inning victory. He didn’t face Cleveland this year.
Why Bet on Cleveland?
Bauer gashed his finger while doing routine maintenance on a drone two weeks ago in Cleveland and had his scheduled start pushed back from Game 2 to Game 3 of the ALCS. According to Bauer, his finger hadn’t bled in the previous two days, leading the Indians to believe he would be able to pitch.
Four batters into the first inning of Game 3 against the Blue Jays, blood began to drip out of Bauer’s right pinkie finger, causing the pitcher to be forced from the game. But six Indians relievers combined to record 25 outs in a 4-2 victory over the Blue Jays. Rules forbid pitchers from using a foreign substance, including a bandage, on their hand. Bauer was removed under the foreign-substance rule, and MLB discussed the situation with the teams ahead of time.
“I looked down, it was bleeding pretty good,” Bauer said after the game. “I was like, you know, my only chance to stay in the game here is to get through the at-bat and get in the dugout and hope to stop the bleeding. Sometimes the circumstances aren’t in your favor.”
During the regular season, Bauer 12-8 with a 4.26 ERA (90ER/190.0IP) in 35 appearances (28 starts). He registered a 10-8 record and a 4.35 ERA (84ER/173.2IP) over his 28 starts. The 25-year- old right-hander also set single-season career-highs in games (35) and innings pitched (190.0). He finished the regular season with 168 strikeouts, two shy of his career-high (170 in 2015).
Bauer has posted a 5.14 ERA (48ER/84.0IP) in innings 1 through 3 this season compared to a 3.57 ERA (42ER/106.0IP) in innings 4-or- later. He surrendered at least one run in the 1st inning in 10 of his 28 regular season starts this season, including four of his final six starts, but tended to settle down after the 1st. In those 10 starts, Bauer allowed 20 1st-inning runs, 47.6 percent of the 42 total runs he allowed in those games. He went 2-3 with five no decisions in those 10 starts. Bauer gave up one run in the 1st inning of ALDS Game 1 on October 6 vs. Boston
My Expert Prediction
Go Indians on MLB odds here.