Best Betting Options for Tigers vs. Rangers

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 12:10 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jun. 25, 2014 12:10 PM UTC

It's Detroit's only visit to Arlington this season and it doesn't appear that the Tigers will be back in October. They likely will be playing postseason baseball then, but not the Rangers.  Detroit opened as a -133 favorite on MLB odds for Wednesday.

Trade Winner So Far: Tigers
The Tigers and Rangers made the biggest trade of this past offseason when Detroit sent slugging first baseman Prince Fielder and $30 million to Texas for second baseman Ian Kinsler. Fielder still looked to be in his prime and had been incredibly durable over his career, while Kinsler looked to be trending downward. Yet this is why trades should never be evaluated until months later. The Tigers have won the deal by a mile.

Not only did they get out from under Fielder's huge contract, Kinsler has played a good second base, and solidified Detroit's leadoff spot in the lineup, hitting .294 with eight home runs, 35 RBIs and eight steals entering this series. The Tigers had a 9-20 stretch from May 18-June 18, falling briefly out of first place, but have since turned things back around and are back atop the AL Central, which everyone expects them to win again. Detroit is -250 at sportsbooks to win the division.

Fielder struggled this season, and then had to have cervical fusion neck surgery in late May, and will miss the rest of the season. Clearly that's an injury going forward that could sap his power. He had played in at least 157 games in each of his eight seasons with Milwaukee and Detroit prior to 2014. Fielder was hitting just .247 with three home runs in 42 games.

Dealing with season-ending injuries is nothing new for Texas. Pitcher Matt Harrison and second baseman Jurickson Profar are both done. Just recently, Fielder's replacement at first, Mitch Moreland,  decided to have season-ending ankle reconstruction surgery. The team is so thin at the position that it's now trying veteran retread Carlos Pena. It's going to take a major trade just to make the Rangers a wild-card contender. Forget the AL West as Texas entered Tuesday's action 11.5 games behind Oakland in the division. The team could finish below .500 for the first time since 2008.

Probable Pitchers
Detroit has two Cy Young winners in its rotation in Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, but the team's best starter right now is right-hander Anibal Sanchez, who starts Wednesday. Sanchez (4-2, 2.33) started the season a bit shakily and then missed about three weeks on the disabled list. He has been lights-out since returning on May 18. Sanchez is 4-0 with a 1.93 in six starts since coming back. He had an interesting outing last time out against Kansas City as he didn't strike anyone out for the first time all year, but he allowed just a run on five hits over seven innings.

Sanchez faced Texas on May 23 at Comerica Park and allowed two runs and five hits over seven innings in a 7-2 victory. The Tigers were -174 favorites at sportsbooks for that game. Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre feasts off in Sanchez in their careers, going 6-for-8 with three RBIs. Shin-Soo Choo is 4-for-14 off Sanchez, who is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in four road starts in 2014.

Texas goes with left-hander Joe Saunders. He was originally scheduled to pitch Thursday with right-hander Nick Tepesch in this one. Saunders (0-3, 4.11) had his worst outing of the season Friday at the Angels, allowing seven runs (four earned) on 10 hits in 4.2 innings. Saunders hasn't faced Detroit this season, and is 0-1 with a 3.18 ERA in two home starts. Last year with the Mariners he faced the Tigers once, giving up three runs and seven hits over 5.2 innings in Detroit. Kinsler will be thrilled to face Saunders as Kinsler is 12-for-36 with four home runs and eight RBIs off him. Miguel Cabrera is 6-for-17 with three RBIs and five walks.

MLB free picks: The Tigers -133 on MLB odds and +125 on the runline. "Over" 9 runs. Detroit is 8-3 in Sanchez's past 11 road starts. The "over" has hit in six of Sanchez's past nine against the AL West.

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