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May 16, 2016

There is one pick tonight.

Take Detroit Tigers (-134) on the ML against Minnesota Twins risking 4.02% to win 3%.
(Only Zimmermann needs to start for wager to have action)

These two AL Central teams have both been struggling, having won only 2 of their last 10 games! Pitching and in particular the bullpen is largely responsible for that as neither club seems to be able to hang on to a lead. The Twins did finally win the first road series of the season after taking the final two games of a 3-game set against the Tribe. Nonetheless, Paul Moritor's squad is one that owns by far the worst record in the American League, having clinched only 10 W's all season compared to 26 losses! They are dealing with a wide variety of issues where as the Tigers' main downfall has been their relievers.

This is the opener of a 3-game set between these two division clubs and we believe the Tigers have numerous advantages. It begins in the starting pitching matchup that pits the reliable Jordan Zimmermann against rookie Jose Berrios. Zimmermann has been a model of consistency and has lasted over 7 frames on average in his home starts! Berrios meanwhile may have a bright future ahead but this is only his 4th start in the Majors and he still has a lot to learn. Against a dangerous and veteran group of hitters that include Miguel Cabrera, Nick Castellanos and the likes of Victor and JD Martinez, we believe he'll find it tough. He may baffle them a bit in the first order through the lineup and get a few strike-outs, but he'll likely find it tough the second time through the order, especially against a lineup that is capable of putting men on base and hitting home runs! If Detroit can be patient and not chase pitches out of the strike-zone, they should be able to get some free passes handed their way before doing damage. Berrios has yet to go beyond 5 1/3 innings and that may well cause issues for Minnesota given that their relievers have been anything but consistent.

Zimmermann is not only a veteran at this level but a competitive character that knows the importance of lasting deep into this game, given Detroit's bullpen woes. Tiger bats have given him good run support this season as they realize, he's their new Ace on the mound and gives them their best chance of winning. The fact that the tall right-hander spent the majority of his career in the National League with Washington means most AL clubs such as the Twins have rarely stepped up to the plate against him! It's worth noting that when they did get their chance, they didn't exactly impress. That's because Zimmermann is 2-0 with an under 1.00 ERA and WHIP in two prior meetings against the Twins!

Minnesota closer, Kevin Jepsen has had a terrible start to the season but with Glen Perkins still sidelined with an injury, Minnesota simply doesn't have any better options! Jepsen also comes into this game having pitched on two consecutive days, which means he may not be at his most effective even if he is called into action. Managers of course rarely like to use a pitcher on 3 consecutive days and may just give him a day of rest, so his arm can be fresh for the rest of the series. Detroit closer, Francisco Rodriguez, is also past his prime but the man nicknamed K-Rod has a wealth of experience in getting those final outs and is coming off a game where he pitched an impressive inning against a dangerous Baltimore offense, with very little margin for error, given that the Tigers held only a 1-run lead. The wily veteran needed a clean inning like that to regain some of his swagger and confidence.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Jordan Zimmermann leads the AL with a 1.5 ERA!
  • The Twins are a miserable 0-8 as a road underdog of +125 to +150!
  • All seven of Jordan Zimmermann's starts have been 'quality starts' this season.
  • Minnesota bullpen is 0-5 in 'save opportunities' on the road where they own an ugly 5.89 ERA!

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