Detroit and Minnesota are both off impressive series win and will collide in a meaningful four-game series. Baseball handicappers are feverishly studying the betting odds to figure who can win.
They are also wondering if either can possibly catch Kansas City or is this series about positioning for the wild card chase? Either way, a great deal of intrigue with both desperately wanting to head into the All-Star break with a satisfying divisional series triumph. Here are the elements for Game 1 of the series.
Like Steven Tyler releasing a country song without Aerosmith, nobody figured the Detroit offense would be better without Miguel Cabrera. Yet the team collectively has upped their game, batting .328 and averaging 6.0 runs in their last dozen encounters. Though not highly publicized, sportsbooks are trying to find the right MLB odds to slay the Tigers and keep those placing sports picks from backing Detroit who is on an epic 19-0 run on OVER's.
As you will read below, Detroit will face a slumping starting pitcher and it would seem the only thing that could slow this group down is the trip from Seattle to the Twin Cities. If they are not too worn out, the bats should help their starting pitcher.
Manager Paul Molitor wanted his players to make sure they took care of business at home when taking over as skipper and mission accomplished. Off their 3-0 series sweep over Baltimore, Minnesota is 28-15 at Target Field and they are +15.6 units there, which is the best among American League teams playing in their own yards.
There is nothing overwhelming about how the Twins play, they are just sound fundamentally and been taught that everything matters, even the little stuff. If Minnesota manages to grab a lead late, either Blain Boyer (2.63 ERA, 14 Holds) or Casey Fein (4.23, 10) will earn a hold and All-Star Glen Perkins will try and improve on 28 for 28 in save chances.
Price vs. Pelfrey
David Price (8-2, 2.54 ERA) is heading to his fifth All-Star contest and hopes to build on his four-game winning streak. In this six-game stretch, Price has been right, with a 1.90 ERA with exceptional command of his two and four -seam fastballs, which he can work either side of the plate and go up the ladder when he has two strikes on batters. Against right-hand hitters he prefers to cut his fastballs and has them leaning on front foot with off-speed curves and changeups. Price is 6-1 with a 2.31 ERA in his last eight starts versus Minnesota and is 10-0 against teams averaging 0.9 or less home runs game this season. (Tigers Record)
Those making MLB picks just kept waiting for Mike Pelfrey (5-5, 3.94) to return to normal and he's in the process. After a scintillating start, Pelfrey is 0-3 with an 8.51 ERA in his last five starts and he has not lasted past the fourth inning in three of his past six outings. Throughout his career, the tall right-hander has been like a Moen faucet turned in either direction, either very hot or extremely cold. At Target Field he's been the former, with a 1.80 ERA and his club is 6-1 in those starts.
Betting Odds and Outcome
The latest odds at Heritage have Detroit as a -130 road favorite (all other books checked were higher) and this season they have won seven of the nine meetings. With the way the Tigers hitters are swinging, Pelfrey will have to be at his best and that might still not be enough since Price and Detroit are 9-0 of late when he's throwing and his club is off a victory.
Free Pick - Detroit -130 at Heritage