Tampa Bay Rays vs Detroit Tigers
Team matchup: Tampa Bay Rays is 40-36 this season. They have above 0.500 record, but they are still fourth in tough American League East. However, they are only 6 games behind first placed Yankees and only 1 game away from second placed Baltimore. Tampa Bay was on a road trip of 9 games and they had rough trip. They won only 2 games during this 9 game road trip. At home they are way better. They are 21-15 at home and they are 29-19 against right handed pitchers. On other side we have Detroit Tigers, on first look, we might think that they are back in form, but that is not true. They started 10 games road trip and they won only 2 of 6 road games. Yesterday they won, so it is 3 of 6. Detroit is just 36-39 this season and they are 19-21 on the road. Against left handed pitchers, they are 8-4.
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Pitching matchup: Verlander is probably the best pitcher in MLB, but he has very poor run support. One of the worst run support among pitchers (only Santana from LAA and Volquez has worse run support. He is 8-4 to the season with ERA of 2.52. On other side we have Price, who is 10-4 this year with ERA 2.95. At home he has even better ERA of 2.35. Both pitchers have good records against opponents, but in last game, when Verlander pitched against Tampa (in 2012) he allowed 4 runs and he lost the game. The bullpen is on Tampa Bay side, even if I think this will be low scoring game and bullpens will pitch only 1-2 innings, but it can be crucial if this game goes in extra time. Tampa has very good home bullpen with ERA 2.18. On other side Detroit has bullpen, who struggle on the road with ERA 4.57.
Key trends: Tigers are 0-4 in Verlanders last 4 starts vs. American League East. Tigers are 7-21 in their last 28 games following a win.Tigers are 2-12 in their last 14 games vs. a left-handed starter. Tigers are 1-7 in their last 8 road games vs. a left-handed starter. Rays are 5-0 in their last 5 games as a home underdog.
Reason for pick: Detroit has only one advantage in this matchup and this is Verlander and even this is not so big, all other important things are on Rays side. Better home record against poor road record, better offense against RHP against poor offense against LHP and better bulpen on Tampa side. I think playing Tampa for plus money is right thing.
Bet: Tampa Bay @2.02 with Pinnacle Sports