Add Royals +121 vs. Tigers to Tonight's MLB Picks

Ross Benjamin

Monday, September 8, 2014 12:00 PM GMT

Our MLB handicapping guru Ross Benjamin examines the opening game of the crucial series between the Royals/Tigers today. Read this revealing article to find out what Ross feels is the best MLB betting value pertaining to this matinee affair.

Crucial Series Opener
The Tigers will host the Royals on Monday at Comerica Park in Detroit with the first pitch slated for 4:05 PM ET. According to MLB odds, the Tigers are a -131 money line home favorite, and the posted total is 9.0. This will be the opener of a 3-game series between the top two teams in the AL Central. At the time of this writing, the Royals held a 2.5 game lead over the Tigers for the division lead. The Tigers have gone a very good 17-8 at home during the last 3-seasons versus the Royals. Detroit has also taken 9 of the 13-games against the Royals in 2014.

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The Royals on the Brink of a Special Season
Even the most ardent of Kansas City Royals fans would’ve imagined they would be first in the AL Central heading into the 2nd week of September. However, that’s the reality of the situation, and with 22-games left to play, this small market team has proven to be the real deal. Playing on the road hasn’t been an issue for the Royals. As a matter of fact, they’ve gone 41-30 (.577) on the road, and just 38-32 (.543) at home in 2014. They enter the series having won 5 of their last 6-games. The Royals starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie enters tonight having gone 4-0 against the money in his last 4 on the road, and with an excellent 2.10 ERA.

 

Unfavorable Scheduling off the Tigers
Detroit has to face the unenviable task of opening this crucial series by playing in a day game, with approximately 17 hours of rest, after playing in the nationally televised ESPN Sunday night game. The Tigers organization had to adjust the starting time due to the Detroit Lions playing in their NFL home opener with a scheduled 7:10 PM ET kickoff. I don’t think anyone within the Tigers front office envisioned that this game versus the Royals, would take on the significance that it has, when the scheduling change was made. The Tigers will go with Justin Verlander on the hill tonight, and the veteran right-hander has endured a terrible season by his standards. Verlander has posted a lofty 4.74 ERA in 28-starts this season. He’s also displayed shaky form over his last 4-starts, posting a large 6.64 ERA, and 1.87 WHIP. Verlander has 4-starts versus Kansas City in 2014, and has compiled an unimpressive 5.68 ERA in those outings.

 

Final Analysis
I firmly believe that there’s some real value to be had on the road underdog for our MLB pick in this game. The Tigers have been far from dominant at home this season by going just 35-32 at Comerica Park. As I alluded to earlier in the article, the Royals have been a solid team on the road. Then factor in the unfavorable scheduling for the Tigers, in addition to the struggles of Jason Verlander, and the picture becomes very clear.

Free MLB Pick: Royals +121 over the Tigers at 5Dimes