August 24, 2015 (Posted at 2:00 PM ET)
Take Cincinnati Reds on the Money Line (-120) against Detroit Tigers risking 3.6% of the bankroll to win 3%.
(Sampson and Farmer must start for wager to have action)
This is an interesting matchup as it's not an actual or official series that is being played between these two club, but instead is a makeup game from a rainout from back in June. What we find most interesting about this one-and-done matchup however is the fact that the oddsmakers have listed a team that is currently on a 9-game losing skid as the favorites in this contest! There is no question that this team is desperate for win and they will likely have their best chance of snapping their recent skid tonight against a pitcher who has struggled on the mound and has performed extremely poorly in the starting role in Buck Farmer.
The Detroit Tigers have mainly used Farmer as a reliever but he started a few games this season as well. Truth be told, he hasn't done well in either role. This will also be his first start since July and has performed poorly in all his other previous road starts. He has yet to win a game while on the mound and has a terrible 8.39 ERA allowing 15 earned runs in less than 15 innings of work! To say he's performed poorly to start his MLB career would be an understatement. This likely could be the Reds best opportunity to break out offensively and pick up that elusive win that they so desperately need. Not only is Cincinnati currently in the bottom of the NL Central now but they've become laughing stock of the league. This is still a team with proud veteran players like Joey Votto, Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce and they'll have that extra urgency in a game like this to snap that ugly skid and avoid their 10th straight defeat!
As for the Tigers, they recently dropped 3 in a row at home to a direct AL Wild card rival in the Texas Rangers which pretty much eliminated themselves from contention of making the postseason. After that terrible series, they now have to travel to Cincy for this makeup game before heading back home to Detroit tomorrow to host the LA Angels and then Toronto Blue Jays; two more AL Wild card rivals. This meaningless game should serve as nothing more than a distraction for the Tigers at this moment. Their series against the Rangers and the ones upcoming against the Angels and Jays are the ones that mean the most. This matchup with Cincinnati is likely an after-thought and we wouldn't be surprised to see the Tigers overlook them in this terrible scheduling spot.
The Reds should have the advantage in this contest as they haven't had to travel and after getting swept by Dodgers, Royals and Arizona, they desperately need to stop the bleeding. Their best chance of doing that is tonight against Buck Farmer and Detroit rather than facing what should be a desperate LA Dodgers team tomorrow when they send Lamb to the mound. This is a scheduling spot that much favors the home side and now that the odds have shifted, there's definite value backing them. The Reds have numerous advantages in this contest and in fact, should be priced higher than they currently are! This is also a team that doesn't make many fielding errors but actually had 2 yesterday! That means they will be more fundamentally sound tonight and handle the ball with much more care. We expect a motivated and solid effort from them as they get that much needed win.
It's not only the area of starting pitchers where Cincinnati holds an advantage as the Reds bullpen is also better than Detroit's with an ERA which is a whole run lower! Meanwhile Detroit has not been as good against right-handed starters and they've never seen Red's hurler Keyvius Sampson before which should give the youngster an advantage in the first couple of orders through the lineup. It's always risky backing a team on a 9 game losing streak but this is arguably their very best spot to snap that skid and we believe they do just that. Take Cincinnati.
Other notable facts to consider:
- Detroit is 2-5 in their last 7 vs. National League Central.
- Reds are 12-1 at home after getting shut-out over the last 2 season!
- Detroit is 1-4 in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a losing record.
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