MLB Picks: Tigers and White Sox Go Over In Suspect Pitching Matchup

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 1:00 PM GMT

Zimmermann of the Tigers is regressing after a hot start while Miguel Gonzalez of the White Sox has not pitched as well as his ERA, making ‘over’ the MLB pick in Chicago.

 

After a slugfest in the series opener last night, there could be another relatively high scoring contest in the Windy City Tuesday night when the regressing Jordan Zimmermann and the Detroit Tigers (32-31, 15-18 away) pay a visit to overachieving fellow right-hander Miguel Gonzalez and the Chicago White Sox (32-32, 16-16 home) for the second game of a three-game series from U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, IL at 8:10 ET on Comcast SportsNet - Chicago.

The posted total at Bookmaker is 9 for this contest with the current MLB Odds on the ‘over' set at -115.

Great Comeback by White Sox Last Night
These teams had a wild series opener last night with the Tigers opening up a 7-0 lead on the struggling James Shields before the White Sox came back, ultimately tying the game with a two-run ninth inning and then winning 10-9 in 12 frames. Still, the White Sox have fallen a long way since leading the American League Central for much of the early season, as they are now in fourth place 3½ games behind the first place Cleveland Indians.

The Tigers are now one-half game ahead of Chicago in third place even after blowing that big lead last night as they have still been the winning MLB Picks in seven of their last 10 games overall. Still, the same problem that has plagued Detroit for years is rearing its ugly head again with that being a struggling bullpen that ranks 25th in the majors with a 4.29 ERA, and it is hard to take the Tigers seriously as contenders unless that gets corrected.


Zimmermann Coming Back to Earth
As for the starting pitching, the Tigers tried to address that need with the signing of Zimmermann via free agency, and that looked like a great move when he was 5-0 with a 0.55 ERA after his first five starts in a Tiger uniform, and the ERA still stood at 1.50 after he lost his next two outings while still recording Quality Starts.

However, even while he was putting up those impressive mainstream numbers, his peripherals were quite weak and it seemed that regression was inevitable. Well, as expected, Zimmermann has slumped to a 7.04 ERA and 1.43 WHIP over his last four outings without a single Quality Start!

The worst part for Zimmermann is that there is still room for more correction with him now standing at 8-3 with a 3.30 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. That is because he is not a big strikeout guy with only 5.83 per nine innings and he does not compensate for that with a particularly high ground ball rate at a modest 44.8 percent. So he allows a lot of contact mostly through the air, and he has been fortunate so far in yielding a .281 BABIP with a 76.2 percent strand rate.

All of that has combined to produce just a 4.56 xFIP that remain 1.26 runs higher than his ERA, which is an ominous sign.

Charmed Life for Gonzalez?
Gonzalez was once considered a very good prospect when he first came up with the Baltimore Orioles in 2012, and he helped pitch them into the playoffs as a wild card during that rookie season. However it was all downhill from there and the Orioles unceremoniously waived him just four years later at the tail end of spring training this season.

Thus the White Sox tried to find a diamond in the rough by claiming him off of the scrap heap, and a quick glance would suggest that they have gotten their money's worth considering Miguel is has put up a 3.57 ERA through seven starts. However, the fact of the matter is that he has not been as effective as that ERA suggests.

For starters, Gonzalez has not given the White Sox much length going beyond six inning just one time, and that was by just one out when he went 6.1 innings three starts ago. Furthermore his peripherals are not very good either, especially his high walk rate of 3.35 per nine innings and the unsustainable current strand rate of 82.0 percent over 40.1 innings, helping lead to a 4.44 xFIP that suggests that he too is in line for regression.

Trending the ‘over'
Finally, the ‘over' is 53-25-5 in the Tigers' last 83 games after allowing five runs or more in their previous game and 3-0-1 in Zimmermann's last four starts overall. The ‘over' is also 7-3 in the White Sox last 10 games inside the American League Central as well as 5-2 in their last seven games vs. right-handed starters.

With Gonzales about ready for some regression and Zimmermann seemingly in the midst of one, look for those trends to continue with the second high scoring game in as many nights when the Detroit Tigers visit the Chicago White Sox for the second game of this series on Tuesday.

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MLB Pick: Over 9 -115
Best Line Offered: at Heritage
MLB Record: 39-34-2, +7.66