MLB Odds: Go 'Over' Total In Tigers vs. Yankees Opener In Bronx

Matthew Jordan

Friday, June 10, 2016 11:00 AM UTC

Friday, Jun. 10, 2016 11:00 AM UTC

Barring a playoff matchup that is very unlikely, the Yankees and Tigers won't play again in 2016 following this weekend's series, so let's check where the Free MLB Pick is at!

What You Need To Know
I actually believe the Tigers could make the playoffs as AL Central champions because that division is so mediocre right now. Detroit has by far the best offense in the division -- three Tigers are among the Top 10 in the American League in batting average -- and teams like the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals are in a free-fall right now. Plus the Royals are injury-ravaged. The Central could well come down to the Tigers or Indians, who would have the big pitching edge. Detroit is currently +350 on MLB odds to win the Central.

Tigers owner Mike Ilitch is never afraid to spend his money to bring a World Series title to Detroit for the first time since 1984 and before he passes away. Thus I expect the Tigers to add pitching by the Aug. 1 trade deadline. The rotation is really shaky behind Jordan Zimmermann (who was torched Wednesday) and Justin Verlander. Michael Fulmer has been excellent, but he's a rookie and likely to hit a wall at some point. Plus Fulmer will have an innings limit.

Detroit definitely could use some bullpen help too as Tigers relievers rank 27th in baseball in ERA (starters are 16th). And if Detroit wants a reliever, the Yankees would be a team to call with their excellent trio of right-hander Dellin Betances and left-handers Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman. It's thought the latter two would certainly be available for the right (i.e. big) price if the Yankees aren't contending in July. And I don't think they will be. Just too many old players on the roster.

New York took two of three in Detroit earlier this season. The Yankees lost 4-0 in Motown on April 8 as Zimmermann was very good for the Tigers. The next day, the Bombers won 8-4. The finale was rained out, so the teams  played the makeup game on June 2 and the Yankees won 5-4. Betances got the win in that game and Chapman the save.

On the injury front, the Tigers expect to have center fielder Cameron Maybin back in the lineup Friday. He has been bothered by a left wrist injury and had a cortisone shot on Monday. He didn't start Tuesday or Wednesday. Maybin, who started the season on the DL, is hitting a robust .419 in 74 at-bats with three steals.


Probable Pitchers
Detroit starts the clear weak link of its rotation in veteran Mike Pelfrey (1-5, 4.76). The former Mets and Twins right-hander did get his first win as a Tiger last Saturday at home against the White Sox, allowing two runs and five hits in six innings in beating Chicago ace Chris Sale. That was easily one of Pelfrey's best outings of the year. He had gone 18 consecutive starts without a win dating back to last season with the Twins. Pelfrey's teammates gave him a beer shower in the clubhouse afterward.

Pelfrey made his Tigers debut on April 9 against the Yankees and took the loss, allowing six runs (two earned) and seven hits in 3.2 innings, his shortest outing of the year. Catcher Brian McCann has faced Pelfrey more than any Yankee, going 20-for-43 (.465) with eight doubles, two homers and 11 RBIs. Alex Rodriguez is 6-for-18 off him with a home run and two RBIs. Jacoby Ellsbury is 3-for-9 with three RBIs.

New York goes with big lefty CC Sabathia (3-4, 2.58), who has been a huge (pun intended) surprise.  Sabathia has allowed just three earned runs over his past five starts. Yet the Yankees have lost his past three because they have scored exactly one run in each. Sabathia threw five shutout innings in Baltimore last Sunday. He did walk a season-high six. The 'under' is 6-1-1 on MLB picks in Sabathia's past eight starts.

Sabathia's season debut was opposite Pelfrey on April 9 and Sabathia got the win, allowing three runs and four hits in six innings. It was Sabathia's first start in a game that counted since missing the 2015 postseason while undergoing alcohol rehabilitation. Detroit's Miguel Cabrera is a career .294 hitter off Sabathia (10-for-34) with two homers and 12 RBIs. AL batting leader Victor Martinez is only 6-for-23 off him but does have two homers. Ian Kinsler is 7-for-29 with two dingers.

Yankees and 'over.' Detroit is 1-4 in Pelfrey's past five road starts. The Yankees are 5-0 in Sabathia's past five at home vs. the Tigers. The 'over' is 4-1-1 in his past six against them. The 'over' is 5-2 in Pelfrey's past seven overall.

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Free MLB Pick:  Yankees -127 & Over 9½
Best Line Offered:  at BetOnline & Heritage

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