Favorable Verlander-Archer Pitching Matchup Creates Value for Rays -145 vs. Tigers

Jason Lake

Tuesday, July 28, 2015 11:33 PM GMT

Are the Detroit Tigers going to be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline? The answer could shift the MLB odds for Wednesday's matinee against the Tampa Bay Rays.  

Jason's 2015 record as of July 28: 36-27, plus-9.63 units ML; 0-3, minus-3.30 units Total

Ah, there's nothing like a mid-week matinee baseball game during the summer. Well, it would be nicer if it weren't being held indoors at Tropicana Field. And we have to dance around the MLB odds a bit for Wednesday's game (12:10 p.m. ET) between the Tampa Bay Rays and Detroit Tigers. They have yet to play Game 2 of this three-game set as we go to press, so keep an eye out for injuries – and trades.

 

Justin Case
We're not quite sure whether the Tigers (48-51, –6.41 units going into Tuesday's action) are going to drop ballast before Friday's non-waiver trade deadline. The latest buzz is that Detroit is refusing to give up on 2015, and may in fact be in the market for a starting pitcher. Either way, we may or may not see Justin Verlander (5.35 FIP) make his scheduled start on Wednesday.

Verlander is trying to work his way back into All-Star form after starting the season on the disabled list with a strained right triceps – his first-ever stint on the DL. It hasn't been going well; Detroit has lost all seven of Verlander's games this year for a deficit of 7.21 units, although there have been three quality starts along the way.

 

Archer of Loaf
The Rays (50-51, –3.31 units) just can't seem to get their engine started this year, but at least they took the first game of this series, beating Detroit (+108 away) 5-2 in Monday's opener. That moves Tampa within 3.5 games of a Wild Card spot in the American League, one game up on the Tigers. Will the Rays stand pat at the trade deadline? Or will they move some pitchers in exchange for some hitters? Nobody knows.

If a trade is made, rumor has it Tampa will sacrifice a reliever or two, so Chris Archer (2.62 FIP) seems very likely to make Wednesday's start. Archer been one of the very best pitchers in the majors, but the Rays are just 12-9 in his 21 appearances for a profit of 0.51 units, giving Archer a mere 3.71 runs per game in support.

 

Fantasy Corner
Despite Tampa's mediocrity at the plate (No. 14 overall at 11.5 WAR), we have to go with some Rays hitters in this situation. 1B/2B Logan Forsythe (.814 OPS) is only owned in 32% of Yahoo leagues at press time, and while he doesn't have any history against Verlander, Forsythe has been hot over the past two weeks, going 12-for-30 with a pair of homers and a 1.200 OPS. Maybe that'll be enough to make the Rays a worthwhile MLB pick on Wednesday – but again, check the newswires for ongoing developments, and may the sphere be with you.

Free MLB Pick: Take the Rays –145 at WagerWeb

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