A pair of impressive streaks will be on the line tonight when the Tigers and Justin Verlander take on Juan Pierre and the resurgent White Sox. Detroit opened as a -125 favorite over Edwin Jackson with the total at 8.
The White Sox edged the Tigers 6-4 in the series
opener with Pierre slugging his first home run of the season and scoring three
times. Carlos Quentin added a three-run homer his 14th while Brent
Lillibridge chipped in with his second home run in two days while raising his
average to .304. Chicago has won four straight to improve to 28-31 but is still
7.0 games behind first-place Cleveland and 2.5 back of second-place Detroit in
the American League Central Division.
Mark Buehrle earned his fifth win of the season although
he didn’t have his best stuff. The veteran lefthander surrendered 10 hits in
six innings including a three-run homer to Casper Wells. The Tigers outhit the
White Sox 13-11 with Jhonny Peralta leading the way with three hits. Miguel
Cabrera (.314), Brennan Boesch and Victor Martinez (.305) each contributed two
Justin Verlander (5-3, 3.12) has won three straight
including his second career no-hitter
on May 7 against Toronto. His first one occurred on June 7 of 2007 at Comerica
Field when he shut down Milwaukee. Verlander is coming off a 3-0 win over the
Red Sox on Sunday a game in which he threw 132 pitches in 7 2/3 innings. He’s
8-9 in his career against the White Sox but has won six straight decisions
The Tigers are tough to tame whenever Verlander pitches but especially when he’s throwing
against teams from the AL Central. Detroit is 20-6 in his last 26 starts
against the White Sox, Twins, Royals and Indians.
The well-traveled Jackson (4-5, 4.63) hasn’t had
many ‘highs’ in his lengthy career but one of them came just shy of a year ago
when he no-hit Tampa Bay 1-0 on June 25. What most fans remember about the game
is that Jackson threw an absurd number of pitches (149) and issued eight walks.
As he showed on that night, the former Dodgers, Rays, Diamondbacks and Tigers
hurler has a rubber arm and can as they say ‘eat’ a lot of innings. Those two
attributes are the main reasons he continues to find steady work despite a
career record of 52-56 and an ERA of 4.62. This is his 11th big MLB
season and his first in Chicago.
Jackson will be facing the Tigers for the second
time this season after allowing eight runs and 12 hits in 5 2/3 innings of an
11-0 loss. He’s been fighting his control this season (see above) allowing 25
walks in 68 innings with opposing batters hitting .294 against him.
Despite Friday night’s win, the White Sox are just
1-9 in their last 10 series meetings. The Pale Hose are also 2-6 in Jackson’s
last eight starts.
MLB odds are favoring the Tigers and currently have listed them at -135, with the total set at 8. There are a number of trends supporting a play on
the ‘over’ starting with the head-to-head matchups which have produced an 18-7-2
record to the high side.
The ‘over’ is 12-4-1 in Jacksons last 17 starts and
9-3-1 in the Tigers past 13 games. Detroit is 19-8-1 to the ‘over’ on the road
this season and 30-21 for the season. Another key MLB betting trend is Chicago’s home
run line record of 9-15.
The South Side weather forecast is calling for
mostly cloudy skies with temperatures in the 60’s and a 40 percent chance of
thunderstorms. The wind will be out of the north at eight miles an hour.
Harvey’s Take: You know the old saying “If it looks
too good to be true, it probably is”? That’s how I feel about Verlander in this
situation. He’s pitching very well and is on a roll against the White Sox. I’ll
take the Tigers and the ‘over’ as a smaller play.
Check out some more MLB weekend quick-picks
courtesy of SBR.