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May 30, 2016

There is one pick tonight.

Take Detroit Tigers (-110) on the ML against LA Angels risking 3.3% to win 3%.
(Verlander must start for wager to have action)

These two ball clubs are both coming off defeats but one is better equipped to bounce back tonight. Detroit took the series opener in Oakland a few days ago but was brought back down to earth after losing the next two games. For a team that aims to make up for last year's disappointing season and reach the playoffs, losing a series to the struggling A's is a wake-up call. They had fought hard to climb back to a .500 record but now find themselves one game under that.

The Tigers have made the short trip to Anaheim and find themselves in an advantegous spot to open this 3-game set with a 'W'. That's because the Halos lost a heart-breaker to division rivals, Houston Astros, yesterday. In a game that needed 13 innings to settle a winner, it was Houston's Carlos Correa that decided the game with a 3-run shot! Mike Scioscia had to empty out the bullpen after Nick Tropeano lasted just 5 frames. The LA Angels bullpen has not been very reliable this season anyway but now with many of their best arms tired or unavailable tonight, this will be a challenging matchup. Closer Huston Street has yet to return from injury and the likes of Mike Morin and Joe Smith have now pitched on consecutive days. Others like Salas and Alvarez have also had a heavy workload in recent days and are worse off for it. The Detroit bullpen leaves a lot to be desired as well but whereas that is normally a weak point of theirs compared to the opponent, that's not necessarily the case tonight.

Brad Ausmus is feeling some pressure from the fans to deliver and will no doubt have his team motivated for this contest against Mike Trout and company. Let's not forget that this Detroit offense is loaded with big bats and can do a lot of damage against even top-notch hurlers. Chacin and the LA relievers don't exactly fit into that category. Navigating a lineup that features the likes of Ian Kinsler, JD Martinez, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Detroit's hottest bat this season, Nick Castellanos in the first 5 spots is a challenging task for any pitcher. Then there are the likes of Cameron Maybin who have a hit in 11 of the 12 games he's played in, since his delayed start to the season and Maybin is one that has hit Chacin very well in the past.

The Halos offense has a tendency to choke with runners in scoring position, especially at home and that was on full display yesterday. LA went just 2-for-15 RISP and that was their downfall. They left 14 men on base altogether, only to watch the visitors take advantage and beat them on their home field. Their offense has a couple of big bats but not as many as Detroit's does and that might be the difference-maker tonight as baseball is a team game and once you get guys on base, others have to do their part to get him to cross home plate. It won't be easy against Justin Verlander who's found his groove and has struckout 10 batters in two consecutive starts! Verlander is not the Cy Young winner he used to be, but he's still a dominant pitcher and one that has had success against this lineup.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • LA Angels are 3-13 against teams with losing records!
  • Verlander has limited this group of Angel hitters to a .208 batting average.
  • LA Angels have lost 9 of 12 games when the total was set at 8 or 8.5 runs!

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