August 21, 2015 (Posted at 2:00 PM ET)
Take Detroit Tigers (-125) on the Money Line against Texas Rangers risking 3.75% of bankroll to win 3%.
(Verlander and Lewis must start for wager to have action)
The Tigers have not always looked like playoff material this season but they have been playing very well as of late. They have now won four of five following yesterday’s 4-0 victory in the series opener against the Texas Rangers. For Game 2, the Tigers will turn to their "former Ace" Justin Verlander. Despite an up and down season this year with time spent on the disabled list, Verlander is starting to look like himself on the mound once again. Over his last five starts, he has posted an impressive 1.75 ERA, while completing at least six innings in each of those outings. He has limited opponents to one run or less in four of those five outings.
Despite pitching very well, he comes into this contest having lost each of his last two starts which puts his record at just 1-5 on the season. Looking at his overall record and ERA it would be easy for the betting public to assume that he has struggled despite playing his best baseball of the season at the moment. It is this type of perception that we believe has opened up value on the Tigers in this contest. Verlander has struck out 32 batters over his last 36 innings of work, while walking just five during that span. He will no doubt be looking for a bit of retribution in this contest as the last time he faced the Rangers, he gave up a career high-tying nine runs (6 earned) and 11 hits in just 5 innings of work on May 25th, 2014.
The Rangers will counter with veteran Colby Lewis on the mound. Lewis comes in with an impressive 13-5 record on the season to go along with a 1.19 WHIP which is his best mark since 2012 and is just one win away from his career-high of 14 victories. This is another instance where we believe perception is masking the betting public’s view of this contest. It's easy to look at the record of both Lewis and Verlander and see a 13-5 pitcher going up against a 1-5 pitcher and assume one is better than the other. We believe they are correct and that one pitcher is better than the other, however it's not the popular choice going by the numbers. Verlander is the hands down better pitcher with the better metrics.
Let's not forget that Lewis has struggled against Detroit in his career. In eight starts against the Tigers since 2010, Colby Lewis has posted an unflattering 6.11 ERA. He has also had problems giving up the long ball recently. In his last 10 starts he has given up a total of 13 home runs! That is an incredibly dangerous statistics given the power and explosiveness of the Tiger's batting order. We feel that the Detroit lineup should be able to damage against Lewis tonight.
Even though their chances of making the playoffs are not big, they are still in the hunt. As mentioned, their offense is capable of putting runs on the board against any pitcher / team. As a team, they are batting .275, which rank 1st in the league while putting together a .283 average at home. The Tigers on-base percentage sits at .331, which also puts them at 1st in the league with a team slugging percentage of .432. Their 9.6 hits per game also tops the league so their offense is more than capable of having a quality performance tonight. This is a good price to lay with the Tigers at home and they should do enough to grab the W. They will be motivated to get another win especially knowing that the next two games of this series will be tough with Wolf and Boyd starting on the mound! This is their best chance for another win and they realize that.
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