Add 'Over' 7.5 Runs to Your MLB Picks for Tigers vs. Royals

Ross Benjamin

Friday, September 19, 2014 1:57 PM UTC

Friday, Sep. 19, 2014 1:57 PM UTC

Our MLB handicapping specialist breaks down the opening game of the critical AL Central series between the Tigers/Royals. This article is informative, revealing, educational, and concluded with a money line MLB free pick.

Mammoth AL Central Series Begins
The Royals will host the Tigers at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City with the first pitch slated for 8:10 PM ET. According to MLB odds, the Royals are a -125 money line home favorite, and the posted total is 8.0. Detroit has dominated the series between these clubs in 2014 winning 11 of the 16-games played, and that includes 6 of the 7 played in Kansas City. This will be the opening game of a critical 3-game series that may eventually go a long way in determining the winner of the American League Central. These teams have seen just 7 of their 25-games played in Kansas City go over the total during the past 3-seasons.


The Starting Pitchers
The Tigers will turn to veteran right-hander Justin Verlander for the opening game of this series. Verlander has endured a very shaky season in 2014 when measured up against the precedents of his standards. He enters tonight in poor form over his last 6-starts, posting a very lofty 6.00 ERA, and 1.65 WHIP. The Tigers hurler has faced the Royals 5-times this season, and has a less than impressive 5.57 ERA during those starts.

The Royals will counter with southpaw Jason Vargas. He’s faced the Tigers on 4 separate occasions in 2014, and was 1-3 against the money, with a sizable 5.18 ERA. Vargas has also been shaky over his last 4-starts as evidenced by a less than impressive 5.01 ERA. On a positive note, he’s gone a terrific 13-1 over the last 3-years against the money line when installed as a -100 to -125 favorite.


Underachiever still Capable of doing Damage
There certainly weren’t a lot of experts at the start of the season that would’ve predicted the Tigers to be battling for their playoff lives with just 10-games to play. In addition, there would be even less that forecast Detroit to be neck and neck with the Kansas City Royals of all teams in determining the winner of the AL Central. Well, as the old adage goes, it is what it is, and we deal with it. It’s imperative that the Tigers have that mind set over the next 10-days, and leave their egos in the parking lot. This is still an extremely dangerous team offensively with hitters like Tori Hunter, Miguel Cabrera, and Victor Martinez in the middle of the lineup. Their pitching has been a disappointment in 2014, but they possess a very capable rotation if they get to the postseason.


Biggest Series in Recent Royals History
It seems like a lifetime ago when the Royals were frequently winning division titles, and playing those classic ALCS series versus the Yankees. Gone are the days of George Brett, Willie Wilson, and Freddy Patek. There’s been a long playoff drought for this franchise, but right now they can see the light at the end of the tunnel. They’ve 11-games left to play in the regular season, are a 0.5 game behind the Tigers for the AL Central lead, have 1-game in hand on Detroit, and if the season were to end today, they would hold one of the two wild card spots in the American League.


Final Analysis
The two pitchers enter tonight both struggling in recent starts, and neither has fared well when facing tonight’s opponent during the course of the 2014 campaign. The Tigers continue to be a dynamic offensive team, they’ve scored 33-runs during their last 6-games, and 5 of those 6 went over the total. The Royals have scored 26-runs during their past 5-games, and none of those 5 stayed under the total.

MLB Pick: Tigers/Royals to go over the total of 7.5 at 5Dimes

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