MLB Picks: Savage Tigers To Hunt Down Anemic Athletics

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, May 28, 2016 12:16 PM GMT

Saturday, May. 28, 2016 12:16 PM GMT

The visiting Tigers notched a win in the first of three last night in Oakland. Let's analyze the matchup this afternoon and cash another ticket in our MLB picks.

Swinger's 2016 MLB Record: 24-12, +11.94 units

Detroit Tigers (24-23, +2.8 units)
Detroit's burgeoning young right-hander Michael Fulmer has now put together a pair of dominating performances and the latter of those two occurred last night when he stymied the A's over the course of seven plus shutout innings, allowing just three hits en route to a 4-1 Tigers' victory. The surging Tigers have now won nine of their last 11 games and are just two games back of the AL Central leading White Sox.

Matt Boyd (0-0, 0.00) is being summoned from Triple-A Toledo to make his second appearance of the season, and his first start, this afternoon. He tossed 4 2/3 innings of shutout relief in Cleveland a little over a month ago. Boyd started 12 games between Detroit and Toronto last season and the results were dismal. The 25-year-old native of Washington state had a 6.57 ERA in 10 starts for Detroit and a 14.85 ERA in a pair of starts for the Jays.

 

Oakland Athletics (20-29, -8.2 units)
It has been a season of discontent and frustration for the flailing Athletics and that continued last night in their 4-1 series opening loss to the Tigers. The A's have just 20 wins on the season, surpassing only the Twins, Braves and Reds in all of Major league Baseball. Oakland is in the bottom third of the major offensive categories except team batting average, where they sit right outside the bubble at 19th. Pitching has not rescued their shoddy offense from their power outage this season as the Athletics have a staff ERA of 4.86 which ranks them 28th in the league.

Virginia Tech product and southpaw Jesse Hahn (1-2, 4.07) takes the bump this afternoon for Oakland. Hahn has been roughed up in his last three outings including his five plus inning stint on Sunday when he allowed four runs on six hits in the team's 5-4 loss to the Yankees as +130 MLB odds home underdogs. However, Hahn has sparkled in two career appearances versus the Tigers, owning a 2-0 record with an ERA of 0.56 and a WHIP of 0.688.

Betting Analysis
When analyzing matchups and teams to determine those that are worthy of inclusion in your MLB picks it is wise to factor in the body of work of your starting pitchers. The season is still relatively young and if we look at Oakland's Jesse Hahn we see a 4.07 ERA and a kid that has not been around very long. But a little more digging shows he started 12 games for the Padres in 2014 with a 7-4 record and a 3.07 ERA. Last season with Oakland he was 6-6 with a 3.35 ERA in 16 starts. Not a bad way to begin a career particularly when the lineups behind you are not the most potent.

Then we turn to young Mr. Matt Boyd who will be making his first start of the season for the Tigers. Boyd had a 6.57 ERA in 10 starts and one relief appearance for Detroit last season coupled with a pair of disappointing outings for Toronto. However, Boyd has been better than good this season for the Toledo Mud Hens with a 2.07 ERA in eight starts and a 1.16 WHIP. In addition, Boyd has a lineup behind him that can mash when in the groove. Detroit is ranked 10th in runs scored, 6th in team batting average, 12th in on base percentage and 6th in slugging percentage.

The bottom line is that the Tigers are simply a better team than the Athletics and because they have a young pitcher making his first start of the season they are being undervalued here. Matt Boyd has some very real and nasty tools in his pitching arsenal and his jump to the big leagues may have been one year premature. However, his time is now and he makes it happen today against an anemic Oakland offense whose starting pitcher who has not looked sharp over his last three starts.

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Free MLB Pick: Detroit Tigers +105
Best Line Offered: at Intertops

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