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August 24, 2016

There are 2 picks tonight.

#1: Take Detroit Tigers (-107) on the ML against Minnesota Twins risking 3.21% to win 3%.
(Boyd and Duffey must start for wager to have action)

The Twins appear to have packed it in for the season as they are not on in last place in the AL Central, they are currently the worst team in the entire American League. The Twins were recently swept in a four game set by the Kansas City Royals and dropped Game 1 against these same Detroit Tigers last night. Their offense has seemingly gone cold as over their 5 game losing streak they are averaging just 2.25 runs per game!

Tonight they will send Tyler Duffey to the mound who, for the most part, has struggled most of the season. Duffey has a 5.92 ERA and 1.451 WHIP over 112 innings of work on the year. At home, he has performed even worse as his ERA balloons up to 6.67 over 11 starts. He was roughed up in his most recent trip to the mound, surrendering 5 earned runs in just 3.7 innings of work against an inconsistent Kansas City offense. If he continues to struggle on the mound, it could be a short innings for the right hander against a Detroit lineup that is capable of scoring runs in bunches.

The Detroit Tigers are still currently in the mix for a potential Wild Card berth and this is exactly the type of series that they need to win in order to gain ground in the chase. They can ill afford to drop a game against a bottom basement team like the Twins and we expect that they will continue to play with a sense of desperation on the field. Over their last two games, their offense has come alive scoring a combined 18 runs. They are seeing the ball well at the moment and we expect that will continue tonight against a struggle Tyler Duffey.

The Tigers will counter with Matt Boyd on the mound tonight. Boyd has been pitching extremely well recently and has allowed just 1 earned run in his last 13 innings of work. What is most impressive about that is that those starts have come against the potent offense of the league leading Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers. Being able to navigate both of those dangerous offenses should give Boyd confidence heading into this contest against a Twins offense that has been ice cold.

This is essentially a must win game for Detroit, who has much more to play for at the moment. These odds certainly don't represent the numerous advantages that they should have in this contest with the reward far outweighing the risk. Detroit should be able to pile up runs in the early going and as long as their bullpen can prevent giving up multiple runs in the later stages of this contest, they should be able to cruise to a fairly easy victory. 

#2: Take Boston Red Sox (-145) on the ML against Tampa Bay Rays risking 4.35% to win 3%.
(Porcello and Andriese must start for wager to have action)

Despite having already won 71 games this season and currently atop their respective division, the Boston Red Sox still find themselves in must win situations on a near nightly basis. That is due to the fact that they are currently tied with the Toronto Blue Jays for 1st in the AL East and also have the Baltimore Orioles, who currently occupy one of the two Wild Card positions, breathing firmly down their necks. The fact that the Tampa Bay Rays are completely out of the running for a playoff spot means that the Sox desperately need to have good showings in series such as this (against winnable foes) in order to not only keep pace, but also potentially create some breathing room in the standings.

Tonight, the Red Sox will send out their most consistent starter and potential CY Young candidate in Rick Porcello. Porcello is having a career season and has been pitching superbly recording just a single loss in his last 17 trips to the mound. He is 17-3 on the year with a very respectable 3.22 ERA and has also had quite a bit of success against the Rays in his career as he is 8-4 with an impressive 2.85ERA and 1.151 WHIP in over 94 innings or work. He is also no stranger to pitching at Tropicana Field as he is 4-2 with a 2.61 ERA in 48 innings in this venue.

While Porcello has excelled this season, the same cannot be said for his counterpart, Matt Andriese. Andriese has struggled mightily over the last couple of months since returning to the starting rotation. He may have started the year 6-0 but has hit the skids and is just 0-5 over his last 14 outings. He recorded losses in his last three consecutive starts, including his last outing against another hard hitting team in the Texas Rangers.

This is simply a case of these two pitchers (and teams) heading in opposite directions. This game means much more to the Sox than it does the Rays and these are exactly the type of games that Boston needs to win heading down the stretch. Porcello has been the Red Sox best pitcher this season and there is no reason to believe that he should continue to have success against a team he has dominated in the past. These are great odds to lay backing the better overall team and pitcher.

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