Free MLB Pick For Archer vs. Zimmermann: A Pair Of Aces In Motown

Doug Upstone

Sunday, May 22, 2016 12:00 PM UTC

Sunday, May. 22, 2016 12:00 PM UTC

It is the series finale between Tampa Bay and Detroit in Motor City and those betting baseball are looking at a potential treat for a pitching matchup with the current aces of both staffs.

Tampa Bay has been playing quite well in winning five of seven, thanks to offense which has carried the load. For Detroit, the offense has been hit and miss a good chunk of the season and take away today's pitcher Jordan Zimmermann, the Tigers starting pitchers have ERA approaching five.

For MLB picks, what gives for 1:08 EDT matinee?


Pitching Matchup - Archer vs. Zimmermann
It has not been a good start for Chris Archer (3-4, 4.38 ERA, 1.52 WHIP). It is easy to trace Archer's issues and they all have to do with pitch location. In the right-hander's nine starts, six times he has walked three or more hitters and only once has he not give out a free pass. Because he's not getting ahead of opposing batters, his strikeouts are down and Archer's .258 batting average allowed and .342 OBP surrendered are at career-high levels, a very negative trend. The news against Detroit is more positive where he is 1-1 in four outings with a 2.08 ERA.

Zimmermann (6-2, 2.45, 1.16) is settling back toward career-norms in his past three starts after being virtually unbeatable to start the season. The righty commands four pitches, including a low-90's fastball that has excellent tailing action and quick-biting slider. After not permitting a homer in first four starts, Zimmermann has been tagged for five in past four trips to the bump. With Tampa Bay's offense centered around the long ball, Zim will have to be careful.


Offensive Numbers
After floundering much of the season with lack of run production, the Rays offense looks like flashback to 2008 when they went to the World Series. Going into Saturday's contest, Tampa Bay was at a baseball-best 1.44 long balls per game and in their last seven contests, they have averaged 6.0 runs per game. The power sources have been coming from every spot on the lineup card despite lousy .290 team on-base percentage.

Detroit has been scoring in bunches since being shutout on May 13, 1-0 at Baltimore, averaging 6.0 RPG also. The Tigers are beginning to appear they could be feared offense again, as all the usual suspects are starting to swing the lumber and if Justin Upton (.272 OBP) starts to join in, Detroit would begin to have answers to overcome holes in starting pitching.


Betting Odds, History and Bullpen Numbers
The overnight MLB odds at GT Bets had Detroit at -120, with total of 8. The Rays have not minded recent visits to Comerica Park, with a 5-4 record, with the OVER 6-1-2 on the total. Tampa Bay has the more complete bullpen with a 3.38 ERA (as of 5/21), while Detroit still has not solved their pen woes entirely with the No.12 ranked bullpen in the AL.


Game Outcome
Normally, this is a fantastic situation to back Archer and the Rays since they are 10-2 as a road underdog of +100 to +150 the last two seasons. However, Tampa Bay has lost six of eight of Archer's past eight away outings and if he is starting Game 3 of a series, the Rays are dismal 0-4.

With such a small number, prefer the value of the home team to win and take the series.

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Free MLB Pick: Tigers -113
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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