In what looks to be a better pitching matchup than people probably anticipate, I'm going to back under the total when Anibal Sanchez and the Detroit Tigers take on the Kansas City Royals.
I was a little bit surprised when I saw the total for this game come out at 8 even with the higher juice on the over. Still, my money is backing the fact the odds makers are predicting both of these pitchers will be a bit undervalued in this spot. At most books the line is at regular juice now on the over and the under, but I am anticipating this line is going to go up so you might want to wait until first pitch to grab the under. Best odds right now are at Pinnacle sports at under the total of 8 at -105.
Anibal Sanchez takes the mound with a surprisingly high 4.82 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 132 strikeouts, and a 10-9 record. His ERA this season is well above his career ERA of 3.68 and he simply has not performed like Detroit had hoped this year. In his last start against the Royals he allowed four earned runs in six innings, but surprisingly that was only off a five hits. He did allow home run but that was not what hurt him, the Royals simply clutched up at the right times. Despite his struggles, Sanchez is still a decent major league starter and when his control is consistent he has the ability to get guys out. My focus on taking him today for this under is more of the fact that he only allowed five hits against Kansas City last week. Look for him to be sharp today.
At the plate Detroit ranks fifth in runs scored per game at 4.43, third in OPS at .762, and first in batting average at .274. They have surprisingly good stats considering they have been without Cabrera for quite some time, but the issue for them is on the road. Like most major league teams, all their major offensive statistics go down away from Detroit. That being said, they still rank among one of the best hitting teams in the major leagues whether at home or on the road.
Kansas City Royals
Yordano Ventura will get the start for Kansas City and comes in with a 5.29 ERA, 1.34 whip, 75 strikeouts, and a 6-7 record. Like Sanchez, his ERA this season is well above his career ERA of 3.89. And also like Sanchez, he has not performed as the Royals had anticipated. His last time out against Detroit just last week he allowed six earned runs off of eight hits in just five innings. Prior to that start he allowed five earned runs off a six hits in seven innings in Toronto. In fact, in his last three starts he's had to face three of the best hitting teams in baseball in the Astros, Blue Jays, and Tigers. This a great spot for him to face a team he just faced and got knocked around to come back and pitch well in his home park. I look for him to do just that today against the Tigers in what should be a good bounce back spot for him.
Kansas City ranks 10th in the league in runs scored per game at 4.33, 11th in OPS at .725, and fourth in batting average at .269. All these averages go up in Kansas City as they hit the ball really well in their home park. Still, they might come into this game a little bit overconfident after scoring four runs off of Sanchez in Detroit.
When all is said and done this comes down to the line. The fact that the odds makers set this line so low should be telling. It would seem that after these two pitchers struggled against the same teams just last week allowing for a total of 10 earned runs between them that this line would be much higher, but it's not. I'm going to back the MLB odds makers in this spot and agree that both these pitchers are undervalued so look for a low-scoring affair, back the under with confidence.
MLB Pick: Under 8 (-105) at Pinnacle