Boston Tames the Tigers in Great Pitching Battle

Pitcher Chris Sale in action

Doug Upstone

Monday, April 10, 2017 1:58 PM GMT

We start the second week of the MLB season with a wraparound series already (Fri. thru Mon.), with Boston and Detroit completing series and we have an outstanding pitching matchup in this matinee.

It will be Chris Sale versus Justin Verlander and both hurlers have been at the top of their game for some time. Detroit has a 2-1 edge in the series and tries to take it before facing Minnesota tomorrow. (3-3 record, -0.95 units)

 

Pitching Matchup - Sale vs. Verlander

With David Price, not quite the pitcher he used to be, Boston management needed a true ace and brought in Chris Sale. The big lefthander was everything Red Sox Nation could hope for in his first start with seven shutout innings, seven strikeouts and allowing just one hit. Sale has purposely backed off the fastball throttle to go deeper in games, but still the ability to hit the high 90's when needed and has exceptional secondary pitches as well. As one of the Top 5 starters in baseball Sale will be frequently used by bettors for MLB picks with Boston. Sale is 8-7 with a 3.05 ERA against the Tigers.

There were others besides fiancé Kate Upton who thought Justin Verlander (1-0, 2.84) should have won the Cy Young last year, in what was a remarkable comeback campaign. Verlander is now 34 and has made the transition from thrower to pitcher and has, even more, movement on his fastball and figured out how to increase velocity, which has led to a great deal more swings and misses, like in his win over the White Sox where he fanned 10 in 6 and 1/3 innings. Verlander is 5-6 with a 2.82 ERA versus the BoSox.

 

Both Offenses Have High Expectations

Boston has rebuilt its roster and feels they now have the pitching and daily lineup to win the American League. Though shortstop Xander Bogaerts is on the bereavement list, The Red Sox still have Dustin Pedroia, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and others who can impact this game and others all season long.

If you are a baseball grinder and studying the MLB odds daily, for several seasons the Tigers Top 5 hitters have been among the best in the major. With J.D. Martinez on the DL and Miguel Cabrera not hitting yet, Detroit has not been as fearsome yet, however, they have gotten good production from the bottom of the batting which has helped them thus far.

 

Betting Odds, History and Bullpen Numbers

The opening odds were a virtual push, with a few digits to either side when looking over multiple sportsbooks. Since 2015, these teams are 5-5 at Comerica Park and the total is 6-3-1 OVER. The Detroit bullpen has been pitiful with two blown saves in this series and whipped by the White Sox in the 11-3 drubbing. Boston had a blown save in Game 1 Friday but otherwise has been solid thus far.

 

The Winner Is......

This might be the hardest call of the week, but with the Detroit bullpen a complete wreck and Sale 12-3 on the road when the money line is +125 to -125, I will give a small nod to Boston to find a way split the series.

 

Free MLB Pick: Red Sox -109Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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