MLB Picks: Braves vs Tigers Preview

Joe Freda

Sunday, April 28, 2013 6:17 PM GMT

Sunday, Apr. 28, 2013 6:17 PM GMT

The Detroit Tigers have taken the first two matchups of this weekend’s series with the Atlanta Braves, including Saturday’s 7-4 win as 103 home favorites.

Sunday night’s MLB betting caps off the set with Tigers right-hander Doug Fister (3-0, 2.00) squaring off with Braves lefty Mike Minor (3-1, 1.80 ERA).

Will the Tigers finish the sweep here or is there value backing the Braves in this finale?

Fister left short in L.A.

Fister saw his string of three wins to start the season end with a no-decision in last Sunday’s 4-3 defeat for Detroit to the Los Angeles Angels. The California native held the Angels to no earned runs over seven frames, while the Tigers failed to cash as 101 road dogs in extra innings.

Tigers reliever Phil Coke logged his staff’s loss, giving up a solo shot homer to Los Angeles’ Mark Trumbo in the 13th frame. Detroit’s Al Alburquerque and Joaquin Benoit united for three scoreless innings prior to Coke’s appearance, with Alburquerque allowing no hits en route to five strikeouts.

The battle’s seven runs ducked below the ‘total’ of eight, ending a 3-0 run for the OVER in Fister’s prior trio of outings. Tigers slugger Prince Fielder cracked his fifth homer of the year, while mates Austin Jackson and Victor Martinez were held to a combined 0-for-13 day.

Minor edges out Rockies

Minor notched his latest victory for Atlanta in Tuesday’s 4-3 win over the Colorado Rockies, cashing as a 122 road favorite. The 25-year-old allowed all three of Colorado’s runs, giving up five hits over six innings.

Braves relievers Luis Avilan and Eric O’Flaherty held the Rockies hitless over the next two frames. Atlanta’s Craig Kimbrel then closed the affair for his eighth save, tossing two strikeouts in the ninth inning.

The duel’s combined seven runs dipped beneath the ‘total’ of 9 ½, moving the UNDER to 3-1 in Minor’s four starts. Braves outfielder Reed Johnson poked three doubles, while mates Justin Upton, Evan Gattis and Dan Uggla all drilled homers.

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[gameodds]3/225762/43-349/us[/gameodds]

Back the Braves as road dogs

5Dimes.eu opened their MLB Betting Odds with Fister as a 136 home favorite, with early Tigers wagers lifting his premium to minus 145. The ‘total’ was first set at eight, dropping a ‘hook’ to 7 ½ after initial betting favored the UNDER.

I am backing Atlanta as a road dog here, taking a sizable price of plus 135. The Braves are 7-3 in Minor’s last 10 road starts against clubs with winning records, while Detroit is an opposite 3-7 in its last 10 interleague spots against lefty starters.

Minor has not given up a homer over his last three outings (17 2/3 IP), while logging a .271 OBP and 1.11 WHIP in his season’s two road starts. The hurler has not been listed at plus odds yet this year, but Atlanta came away with victories in Minor’s first two spots last season as an underdog.

Atlanta’s four runs in Saturday’s affair gave the team some momentum after being shut out in Friday’s opener. Justin Upton cracked his 12th homer of the year, while cleanup man Freddie Freeman went 2-for-4.

Look for the Braves to pull out just enough at the plate here to edge out the Tigers with some value.

Pick: Atlanta Braves +135 at Will Hill 

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