Detroit just traded its ace and its closer, but also took the opener of a four-game series in Baltimore last night. Can the Tigers pull another upset Friday night? Or will the Orioles bounce back?
Tigers-Orioles Friday Odds
As of this writing the best price we could find on Baltimore and Wei-Yin Chen was the -173 offered at 5Dimes, while Detroit and Buck Farmer were getting +166 at BetOnline. Also, most of the market listed a total on tonight's game of 8.5 runs, and there were a few nines out there, too.
Detroit took the opener of this series Thursday 9-8, taking an early 7-0 lead, then hanging on from there. So the Tigers have won consecutive games for the first time in three weeks, while the loss snapped a five-game winning streak for Baltimore.
At 51-50 the Orioles trail the first-place Yankees by six games in the AL East, but only sit two games back of Minnesota in the battle for the second American League wild-card spot.
Detroit, meanwhile, at 50-52 trails the Twins by 3.5 games in that AL wild-card race.
The Tigers don't seem to be too optimistic about their playoff chances, considering they just traded ace David Price and closer Joakim Soria.
These teams have now split four games this season, with the OVERS going 3-1.
Friday's Pitching Match-Up
Chen (5-6, 2.88) is 12-for-19 on quality starts this season, and has gone 11 starts since he gave up more than three runs in an outing. Last Sunday he held Tampa to two runs through 5 1/3 innings, and over his last three starts he's allowed seven runs through 19 1/3 innings. On the season Chen has allowed 111 hits through 122 innings, although 19 of those hits have left the yard.
Baltimore is 11-8 in Chen's starts, with the totals skewing toward the UNDERS by a 14-3 margin.
Chen last started against Detroit back in October of last year, in an ALDS game, and it didn't go too well, as he gave up five runs and seven hits in less than four innings, although the Orioles rallied to win that contest 7-6.
Farmer (0-2, 9.22) is 0-for-two on quality starts, to go along with one appearance in relief. Back in May, in his season debut, Farmer gave up seven runs in five innings against the Angels, and three weeks later he gave up five runs in 5 1/3 innings against Cleveland. Most recent he allowed two runs in 3 2/3 innings in relief against Minnesota back on July 11, so on the season Farmer has been touched for 14 runs and 22 hits through 13 2/3 innings.
The Tigers lost both his starts, and both starts played OVER.
This will be Farmer's first-ever start vs. Baltimore.
Friday's Batting Splits
Detroit ranks fourth the in Majors this season against left-handed pitching with a .274 team batting average, and second with a .345 team on-base percentage.
Baltimore, meanwhile, ranks 19th against right-handed pitching with a .251 average and 20th with a .310 team OBP.
Ballpark Totals Factor
UNDERS are now 28-22 in games played at Camden Yards this season, even though Orioles home games are averaging a healthy 8.9 runs.
Detroit is playing without slugger Miguel Cabrera, who's on the DL with a strained calf. His absence is being felt, as the Tigers have been held to two or fewer runs in six of their last eight games.
Tigers-Orioles Friday Free Picks
We whiffed on yesterday's series opener, but in retrospect that game looks like an aberration. As for today, we give Chen the solid edge in the pitching match-up, so we like Baltimore to bounce back. And we like to take chances, so we'll go with the O's on the run line. Also, Baltimore alone could score six or seven runs tonight, so we're thinking OVER with our MLB picks.
MLB Picks: Orioles +115 on the run line and OVER 8.5 runs (-120) at 5Dimes