MLB Picks: Tigers & Marlins To Open Their Seasons With An ‘Over’

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, April 5, 2016 6:13 PM GMT

In the latest scheduled season opener of this 2016 season, it could be a relatively high scoring affair when the Tigers visit the Marlins. Your MLB pick for this game should me the 'over'.

 

All but two teams have already had their scheduled season openers (although two games were postponed), and in the last scheduled season opener Tuesday night, it could be a higher scoring game than the posted total suggests when right-hander Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers (0-0, 0-0 away) pay a visit to the southpaw Wei-Yin Chen and the Miami Marlins (0-0, 0-0 home) at Marlin Park in Miami, FL at 7:10 ET in a game televised nationally on MLB Network. The posted total at Heritage is 7½ or this contest with the current MLB odds on the ‘over’ set at -110.

 

Both Teams Disappointed Last Year
Both of these teams had disappointing seasons last year that were curtailed by injuries. The Marlins were popular darkhorse picks to win the National League East, but while the pitching was commendable, they lost all hope when Giancarlo Stanton was lost for the season to a broken wrist. Stanton is back and healthy as of now though and he is the current favorite to win the home run title in the Major Leagues!

The Tigers had the dubious distinction of going from “first to worst” last year. Remember that it was Detroit that won the American League Central two years ago before the second place Kansas City Royals went to the World Series as a wild card, but then the Tigers were the worst MLB picks in the division last year at 74-87 as they were unable to overcome the prolonged losses of former Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez.

 

Tough NL Debut for Chen
Now, it is no secret that Jose Fernandez is the true ace of the Miami staff, but new manager Don Mattingly has opted for the southpaw Chen to make this opening day start. Chen is making his National League debut here after spending his entire Major League career with the Baltimore Orioles until now, and he bewildered Sabremetricians the last couple of years by having good success in Baltimore despite some very modest peripheral numbers.

Last season, Chen went 11-8 with a 3.34 ERA despite owning just a 4.16 FIP and 4.01 xFIP. Also, most pitchers have immediate success moving over from the more offensively potent American League to the National League, especially their first time through the league. Unfortunately for Chen though, this first National League start comes during interleague play vs. an American League opponent and one that he has not had success against.

Chen has made three career starts vs. the Tigers and he has a 7.53 ERA, 1.60 WHIP and a .317 batting average allowed over 14.1 innings. It is good that Stanton is back to spark the offense to potentially give him some support, but by the same token, the Tigers also look improved offensively this year, which is a scary thought.

 

Tigers Added More Firepower
Obviously a healthy Cabrera and Victor Martinez, who struggled after potentially coming back too soon last season, is a major boon for the Detroit offense, as is the strong development of J.D. Martinez last year, who could join the first duo to form a lethal heart of the order. But now there is more as the Tigers also signed Justin Upton in free agency, which is a colossal upgrade in left field over what was supposed to be a platoon of Anthony Gose and Mike Aviles.

Now the Tigers need to get their pitching back in order after posting a team ERA of 4.29 last year, and that starts with Verlander who was just 5-8 last year with his lowest strikeout rate in years as he finished with only 113 strikeouts in 133.1 innings. To be fair, Verlander did post a 2.80 ERA after the All-Star break last season after being at 5.34 before the break after getting a belated start to the season due to a triceps issue. Still, Verlander did finish with just a 4.15 xFIP as he was helped by allowing an atypically low .267 BABIP.

 

Trending the ‘over’
Finally, the ‘over’ is 34-15-4 in the Tigers’ last 53 road games and 4-0-1 in Verlander’s last five starts. Also, the ‘over’ is 5-2 in the Marlins’ last seven games vs. right-handed starters and 5-1 in their last six games on grass. Given that Stanton is now back and healthy to bolster the Marlins offense and Cabrera and Victor Martinez are both healthy to start the season for the Tigers, look for those trends to continue with another ‘over’ when Detroit visits Miami in the opener for both teams on Tuesday.

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Free MLB Pick: 'Over' 7.5 (-115) 
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes