The battle of AL Central rivals continues as the Royals look to duplicate their efforts from yesterday when they won the opener of a three-game set with the Tigers. Let's review the MLB odds and get on the right side of this one.
Swinger's MLB Record: 63-36, +25.59 units
It appears as though we are officially back on track. After a first half of the season where I could do little wrong, the All-Star break came, and shortly thereafter there was little I could do right. But yesterday we cashed the fourth straight of our MLB picks as the Red Sox edged the Indians 3-2. And we even got the benefit of shopping early as the MLB odds makers were dealing the Red Sox at +102 before they eventually spiked to as high as -114 shortly before game time.
Now we turn our attention to this game between the Kansas City Royals and the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. The Royals took the opener 3-1 but the Tigers look to knot the series tonight (-140 favorites at Pinnacle.) Let's examine the matchups, do our homework and shop for the best MLB odds available. Here we go!
Pitching Duel Tonight
This should be a case of anything you can do, I can do better. The Royals' Danny Duffy is not exactly a household name but he has been the ace of the Kansas City staff since being promoted to the starting rotation on May 15th. The five-year veteran has shown flashes of brilliance in the past as he ended the 2014 campaign with a 2.53 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP in 31 appearances of which 25 were starts. Last year the results were not nearly as impressive but his 4.08 ERA and a 7-8 record in 30 appearances were certainly serviceable.
However, this season Duffy has rekindled his mojo from two years ago and then some. The 27-year-old southpaw boasts a 9-1 record complemented by a 2.79 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP. In addition, he enjoyed the first complete game of his career in his last outing, limiting the White Sox to one run on seven hits in a 2-1 Royals victory.
Once upon a time Justin Verlander was one of the most dominant pitchers in the game. After three down years, by his standards, Verlander may not be back and better than ever but recently he's pretty darn close. Entering this showdown with Duffy and the Royals, Verlander is 12-6 on the season with a 3.42 and a 1.06 WHIP to his credit.
The 11-year veteran is now at the top of his game and appears to be getting better as the season grows longer. Verlander tossed seven innings of one-run ball in what turned out to be a 3-1 loss to the Mariners. But if you want an idea of just how good Verlander has been over the past few months, consider that he has eight consecutive starts of two or fewer runs. He has also picked up the win in five of his last eight starts with the other three being no decisions. He's back!
Though Kansas City's Danny Duffy has been immense this season it should also be noted that good pitchers don't turn into All-Stars overnight. Of course, every pitcher, like every gambler, has a string of winning and losing streaks but Duffy has been doing nothing but winning. In other words, a regression to the mean is on order because Duffy simply didn't become Roger Clemens overnight. Eventually, he will become mortal again and it could happen tonight against a Detroit club that boasts the 4th ranked team batting average at .267 and the 9th most runs scored in the league.
My hesitation with backing the Tigers is that they are a club that has been banged up throughout the season and sustained a big, though short-term, blow yesterday when superstar slugger Miguel Cabrera left the game with what has been described as a left biceps strain. He will most likely be out of the lineup today but we will still back the Tigers at home with the Justin Verlander of 2012 throwing smoke from the hill.
Free MLB Pick: Tigers -135
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline