MLB Picks: Tigers To Cause An Uproar In Tonight's Nationals Matchup

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 3:11 PM UTC

Wednesday, May. 11, 2016 3:11 PM UTC

In a matchup of two pitchers both facing their former teams, the road underdogs may have the MLb betting edge when Jordan Zimmermann and the Tigers visit Max Scherzer and the Nationals.

MLB Record: 18-19-1, +2.23

There is an interesting pitching matchup Wednesday night between two starters that are both facing their former teams when Jordan Zimmermann and his new team the Detroit Tigers (15-17, 10-8 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander and former Tiger Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals (20-13, 9-5 home) in the final game of a three-game interleague series from Nationals Park in Washington, DC at 7:05 ET in a game available on MASN.

The posted money line at BetOnline has Detroit as a sizable underdog for this contest at current MLB odds of +143.


Tigers Seek Second Straight Upset
You may recall that we backed the Tigers at a generous price last night, and they rewarded us nicely with the 5-4 victory to snap a seven-game losing streak as rookie starter Michael Fulmer improved to 2-1 and now has 15 strikeouts in his first 14 Major League innings. Detroit is now seven games behind the Chicago White Sox while in fourth place in the American League Central.

Meanwhile the Nationals have hit a skid as the losing MLB picks in five of their last six games, which has allowed the New York Mets to overtake them in the National League East. Luckily for Washington, the Mets also lost on Tuesday to the Dodgers in Los Angeles, so the Nats remain just one-half game behind despite the loss last night.


Not a Great Start for Scherzer
Scherzer won the 2013 American League Cy Young Award when he was a member of the Tigers, but he is now in the opposing dugout here after signing a free agent contract with the Nationals before last season, and after going a disappointing 14-12 in his first year with Washington, he continued his dull start to 2016 by getting touched up for seven earned runs in five innings by the Chicago Cubs his last start last Friday on seven hits plus three walks.

Scherzer still has a winning 3-2 record, but he now owns a 4.60 ERA and a mediocre 1.28 WHIP, and while he still owns an excellent strikeout rate of 9.63 per nine innings, that is actually down from the double-digit averages he has had every season since 2012. Furthermore, his walk rate is up to a weak 3.14 per nine innings this year after he walked just 1.34 per nine innings last season, leaving him with a current FIP of 4.79 that suggests that the poor ERA is not a fluke.

He now gets to face a good American League offense and the Tigers are batting a hefty .266 and averaging 4.58 runs per nine innings vs. right-handed pitching this young season. Also, Miguel Cabrera should be back in the Detroit lineup after he was rested last night, although he did deliver with a pinch-hit RBI single that drove in the fifth and ultimately decisive run.


Zimmermann Enjoying American League Life
Zimmermann spent his entire Major League career with the Nationals before signing with the Tigers during this past off-season, and he has made a smooth transition pitching in a more offensive league as he is 5-1 with a spiffy 1.10 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. Yes, the lone loss came in his last start vs. the Texas Rangers on Friday, but it was through no fault of his own as he recorded another Quality Start allowing three runs on seven hits in eight innings.

Moreover, the familiarity angle may favor Zimmermann more that it does Scherzer in this game as the former pitched for the Nationals just last year and knows the strengths and weakness of virtually the entire Washington lineup, whereas the Tigers have made a few changes since Scherzer last toiled in Detroit two years ago.

Besides, it is not as if Zimmermann needs any extra help given his raging form to begin his Tiger career, as the 1.10 ERA currently leads the Major Leagues, just ahead of Jake Arrieta at 1.13.


Trending the Road Underdogs
Finally, most of the same angles that had us backing Detroit at a nice price last night are still in play here. The Tigers are now 5-1 in their last six interleague road games and 11-4 in their last 15 games vs. the National League East following Tuesday’s victory, while the Nationals are now 1-5 in their last six games overall, with all those games coming vs. right-handed pitching.

With Zimmermann having the edge in familiarity with his former teammates, not to mention the Major League leader in ERA having a much better start to this year than Scherzer, back Detroit at a generous underdog price again for a second straight night visiting Washington at the nation’s capital on Wednesday.

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Free MLB Pick: Tigers +143
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker


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