Excellent Pitching Expectations Set Tigers As Your MLB Pick Against Athletics

Charles Stark

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 7:33 PM GMT

In the third game of their four game set we have two of the American League’s premier pitchers face off. MLB odds makers have set this game at about a pick, but which team is the better value?

MLB odds boards have made both these teams -104 at Pinnacle Sports. For one of my MLB picks I am going to back the home Tigers as I look for Justin Verlander to have a good home performance and for Detroit to do enough against Sonny Gray to get the win.

 

Oakland A’s
Sonny Gray takes the mound with a 2.73 ERA and 1.25 whip with the A’s hitting .236 as a team which ranks them 22nd in the league. Taking Detroit against Gray is not so much about the pitching matchup because currently Gray is not only the better pitcher but one of the top five in the American League.

However, he has not gone unscathed this season giving up runs in all of his starts so I expect Detroit to be able to put up a few as well. In his career Gray has had one subpar start and one great start against the Tigers last season where he was lights out allowing two hits in eight innings. Troublesome to me though is the lack of offense at times by the A’s this season.

They had a nice stretch in which they scored five, seven, and eight runs in three straight games just last week but they are only averaging 3.45 runs per game which ranks them 25th in the league. As well, they rank in the bottom third in the league in both total bases and hits per game. Finally, what really has me puzzled is that they rank last in the league in manufacturing walks which has been a staple of A’s baseball. This could be a tough year for them and they won’t have it easy today against a veteran pitcher due for a real good outing.


 

Detroit Tigers
Justin Verlander come in with a 5.79 ERA and 1.37 whip with Detroit averaging 4.39 runs per game which ranks 10th in the league. Big V has started out the season with a few bumps highlighted by a tough outing versus the Pirates allowing seven earned off of 10 hits in just four innings.

In his other three starts he was fine allowing just eight runs in 19 innings including a strong start against Cleveland his last time out. His hit totals have actually been low but he has been bit by the long ball giving up five already this season. He shouldn’t have much a problem today though against an Oakland team that averages just one per game which ranks them in about the middle of the league.

Offensively, the Tigers broke out in game one of this series with Miguel Cabrera hitting two home runs to get out of his own slump. Detroit ranks in the better part of the league in most offensive categories including in the top 10 in runs, hits, and home runs per game. Tough matchup for them today but at home they should be able to get enough to give Verlander a better than good shot at the win.

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Free MLB Pick: Detroit Tigers -104
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle