MLB Picks: Bet on Pitching in Tigers vs. Royals to Stay 'UNDER' Total

Willie Bee

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 12:12 PM UTC

Tuesday, Sep. 1, 2015 12:12 PM UTC

A dandy pitching matchup launches this week's Tigers-Royals series & we're following all three of the contests in Kansas City with game analysis and free MLB picks.

There may be no team happier to see the month of August gone than the Detroit Tigers. The dog days -- indeed, the whole second half of the 2015 baseball betting campaign -- were one to forget for a Tigers team that was favored to win its fifth consecutive AL Central title, only to find itself at the bottom of the division as the final month of the schedule gets underway.

A trip to the playoffs long out of their picture, and a shakeup in the front office already underway, about the only things the Tigers have to play for now are pride and getting a jump on next year. Detroit can make strides towards both with a series in Kansas City beginning Tuesday against the AL-leading Royals.

First pitch at Kauffman Stadium is 8:10 PM (ET), and it's a dandy pitching matchup with Justin Verlander hurling for the Tigers against KC's Johnny Cueto. BetOnline is selling the Royals at -155 on the morning moneyline, a 7 run total leaning a bit to the 'over.'

As far as American League rivalries go, it's hard to find one closer than this one.  The Tigers hold a 325-319 edge in the history books, a record that includes their victory over the Royals in the 5-game 1984 ALCS. Detroit has managed to seize that lead thanks to dominating Kansas City in recent years, the Motown Nine taking 62 of the last 105 encounters (.590). The Royals have a slight 7-6 lead in 2015; eight of the 13 contests stayed 'under' the MLB odds, totals running 3-4 O/U in Kansas City.


Tigers Close August With One Win In Last 10 Games
A 4-game losing streak in tow as Detroit (60-70, -9.8 units) wraps up a road trip that begin with being swept in Toronto. The Tigers dropped nine of their final 10 games in August to complete the month 10-17, 5-9 away from Comerica Park.

Brad Ausmus' second year on the top step of the dugout might have been doomed from the start as both Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello, two key arms on last year's 90-win team, were lost either through free agency or trade. The Tigers are bringing up the rear in the AL with a 4.61 ERA and served up a league-high 156 home runs. The offense isn't without culpability either, Detroit's lineup producing just six runs in the current skid.

Verlander has been one of the few silver linings recently after the former Cy Young winner appeared to be on his way out earlier. He missed the first 2½ months with a triceps injury, the Tigers then proceeding to lose his first seven starts while Verlander's ERA reached as high as 6.62. They split the last six with the big righty coming off a near no-hitter and pitching to a 1.38 ERA in that span. The only poor outing since the break did come against these Royals, however, KC touching Verlander for five runs in a 7-IP effort Aug. 4 in Detroit.


Royals Opening Long 9-Game Homestand
Kansas City (80-50, +26.9 units) breezed through last month 10 games above .500 (19-9), the only series Ned Yost's troops failing to win or tie taking place August 4-6 in Detroit. The Tigers just completed a short road trip to Tampa Bay, and now begin a big 9-game homestand against AL Central foes with the White Sox and Twins following the Tigers into town.

Cueto was Kansas City's big score at the trade deadline, and the stumpy righthander looked a perfect fit in his first four starts while building a 1.80 ERA for his new club. The Dominican has since been knocked around in losses to the Red Sox and Orioles, the two lineups plating 12 runs in a combined 11 frames, Cueto dishing up four homers in the process. He was brilliant on this mound August 10 against the Tigers, going the distance with a 4-hit shutout and striking out eight.

There isn't any rain in the forecast for the entire series, with warm temps in the mid-to-upper 80s for the start of tonight's game and a light 6-9 mph southerly breeze (out to left). With rested bullpens on both sides, I'm going with the 'under' for my free MLB pick in the game.

My pick: Tigers & Royals 'UNDER' 7 (-105) @ BetOnline

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