MLB Picks: Tigers vs. Blue Jays Series Coverage

Darin Zank

Tuesday, July 2, 2013 1:43 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jul. 2, 2013 1:43 PM UTC

We follow the four game series between the Detroit Tigers and the Toronto Blue Jays, offering up our free MLB picks along the way. Where do we believe bettors should focus in each of these matchups?

Detroit has taken two of the first three games of this four-game set, after Wednesday night's 6-2 victory. The Tigers are now 14-3 in games Max Scherzer has started this season, and he's now 13-0. 

To our delight, Detroit not only won as a -130 favorite on Wednesday's MLB betting odds, but also covered on the run line, giving us a winner at a price of +140. 

Since its 11-game-winning streak Toronto is 3-7. 

Scherzer's next start is slated for Monday at Cleveland.  

So the Tigers will shoot for the series victory, while the Jays will try to salvage a split, when the teams meet for Game 4 of this series Thursday night (7 pm ET). 

Thursday's Betting Line 

As of Thursday morning most books were chalking Justin Verlander and Detroit at around -130 over Toronto and Esmil Rogers, with the total proffered at 8.5. 

Thursday's Pitching Match-Up 

Rogers (3-3, 3.12) hasn't been too bad since joining the Jays rotation, after spending the first two months of this season in the bullpen. He's 3-for-6 on quality starts, and he's coming off a very good outing last Saturday in which he held Boston scoreless on six hits through six innings of a 6-2 Toronto victory. 

During the month of June Rogers allowed eight ER and 25 hits in 31 2/3 innings; as it just so happens, the Jays went 4-1 in games Rogers started last month. 

On the season Rogers has given up 58 hits in 60 2/3 innings, walked 18 and struck out 38. 

This will be Rogers' first-ever start vs. Detroit; in two relief appearances against the Tigers back in April Rogers gave up two runs and seven hits in four innings. 

Verlander (8-5, 3.77) has for the most part been his usual self this year, but he's had a few hiccups, and hasn't been sharp/sharp recently. He's 11-for-17 on quality starts this year, but only one for his last three. Last time out he limited Tampa to two ER through eight innings, but he had to scatter nine hits and four walks in doing so. And in his two starts previous to that the Orioles and Red Sox got him for nine runs in 10 innings. 

Over those last three starts Verlander has permitted 36 baserunners (hits + walks) in 18 innings. 

For the season Big V has allowed 108 hits in 105 innings, walked 39 and whiffed 114. 

But Detroit is only 9-8 in Verlander's starts this year. 

This will be Verlander's first start this season vs. Toronto; last year, in his only start vs. the Jays, he was tough, giving up two runs and four hits while striking out a dozen in nine innings of a game Detroit won in extra innings 3-2. 

The last time Verlander pitched in Toronto he no-hit the Blue Jays, back in May of 2011.

The OVER/UNDERS are 10-6 in Verlander's starts this season, but 1-5 in Rogers' starts. 


Our Take on Thursday's Game 

Verlander carries the big name and reputation, but Rogers has been the better pitcher lately. So maybe there's some value here with Toronto. But instead of going with a side for today's free MLB pick we look toward the total, and some personnel notes. For Detroit, Miguel Cabrera is listed as questionable for Thursday night as he deals with a sore back, and IF Omar Infante took a spike to the shin last night, and is out. On the other side of the diamond Jays IF Edwin Encarnacion has missed recent action with a sore hammy, and is also questionable for Thursday. So we'll go with the UNDER for our free MLB pick for today.  

Pick: Take the UNDER 8.5 runs at the -110 offered at BET365.   


3rd July
Wednesday's's Game

By: Ron Patrick


The Tigers took the second game of this four-game series Tuesday night, rallying from an early 4-0 deficit to win 7-6.

Detroit won Tuesday as a -150 favorite on the MLB betting lines but, to our frustration, the Tigers couldn't quite cover on the run line. The Kitties left runners in scoring position in the first, second, fourth and sixth innings.

So with this series tied at a game apiece, the teams will play again in Game 3 this Wednesday evening, starting at 7 p.m. ET.

Wednesday's Tigers-Jays Betting Lines

As of Wednesday morning, most baseball books were chalking Detroit with Max Scherzer at around -130 over Toronto and Josh Johnson, with an OVER/UNDER of 8.5.


Wednesday's Pitching Match-Up

For more MLB inside information, check out our Daily Pitching Report!

Johnson (1-2, 5.21), by our tough standards, is just 3-for-9 on quality starts this season, and 0 for his last two. Last time out he got nicked for five runs in less than four innings vs. Boston, and just before that he allowed four runs in six innings vs. Baltimore.

So in his five starts since coming off the DL a month ago JJ has given up 13 ER over 28 2/3 innings.

On the season the former Marlin has allowed 59 hits in 48 1/3 innings, walked 18 and struck out 49.

Toronto only won one of Johnson's first six starts this season, but has won two of his last three outings.

In his one start previously this season vs. Detroit Johnson got bombed for six runs in less than two innings of an 11-1 Jays loss back in early April.

Scherzer (12-0, 3.10), is 12-for-16 on quality starts this season, and working on a streak of eight in a row. Last time out he gave up three runs in seven innings vs. Tampa, and over his last five starts he's allowed nine ER through 34 innings.

For the season Scherzer has permitted just 74 hits in 110 1/3 innings, walked 25 and struck out 131.

Detroit is 13-3 in Scherzer's starts this year, and has won his last five in a row.

This will be Scherzer's first start this season against Toronto; last year, in his only start vs. the Jays, he held them to one run in seven innings of a 5-3 Tigers victory in August at Comerica Park.

Our Take on Wednesday's Game

We lost with Detroit on the run line Tuesday, but with Scherzer going, and with the Jays still a little banged up, we'll jump back on that horse today, and go with another run-line play on the Tigers for our free MLB pick.

MLB Pick: Take Detroit giving up the run and a half, getting +140 at William Hill.

Remember to check back for updates, including fresh pitching match-ups, odds and more free sports picks, as this series plays out.


2nd July
Tuesday's Game

By: Ron Patrick


We jump into this four-game series one game deep, after Toronto took Monday afternoon's opener at Rogers Centre 8-3, putting up crooked numbers in the third and fourth innings to back up another quality start from RA Dickey. 

Toronto has finally begun living up to its pre-season expectations, winning 17 of its last 24 games to reach the .500 mark. Next planned destination: the upper parts of the American League East

Detroit, on the other hand, has hit a cold spell, and just gave up the lead in the American League Central.

So the Jays will try to continue their recent run while the Tigers will try to scratch out much-needed victories as the teams play out the rest of this series, beginning with Game 2 Tuesday night (7 pm ET). 

Tuesday's Tigers-Jays Betting Odds 

As of Tuesday morning most online sportsbooks we consulted were chalking Detroit and Doug Fister at around -150 over Toronto and Chien-Ming Wang, with an OVER/UNDER of 9.5.


Tigers-Jays Series Set-Up

Toronto just lost three of four games in Boston over the weekend, falling Sunday 5-4. Still, the Jays are 17-7 over their last 24 games, as they try to recover from a terrible start to this season. 

At 41-41 the Jays sit in last place in the AL East, eight games back of the first-place Sox. 

Detroit, on the other hand, just dropped two of three games in Tampa over the weekend, and has lost six of its last seven. 

Hard as it might be to believe, but it's been the Tigers bats that have struggled lately, plating a total of 26 runs over their last seven games. 

Combined with Cleveland's current four-game winning streak Detroit, at 43-38, now sits in second place in the AL Central, a half-game back of the first-place Tribe. 

These teams have split four games so far this year, and all four of those games have played OVER on the totals.

Tuesday's Pitching Match-Up

Wang (1-1, 5.24) is 2-for-4 on quality starts this season for Toronto since coming up from the Minors, but he's coming off a very rough outing. In his first start for the Jays three weeks ago he gave up five runs in 7 1/3 innings vs. the White Sox, then held the Rangers and Orioles to one run through 13 1/3 innings. But last time out, last Thursday in Boston, Wang got bombed for seven runs in less than two innings of a 7-4 Jays loss. 

On the season Wang has allowed 28 hits in 22 1/3 innings, walked seven and struck out 10. 

This will be Wang's first start vs. the Tigers since 2007. 

Fister (6-5, 3.50) is a solid 12-for-16 on quality starts this season, and six for his last seven. Last time out he held the Angels to one run through seven innings, and over his last seven starts he's allowed more than three runs just once. 

On the season Fister has given up 108 hits in 103 innings, but just four of those hits were homers. He also owns a 5/1 K/BB ratio, with 80 whiffs vs. 16 walks. 

However, despite some solid numbers, Detroit has lost seven of Fister's last eight starts, thanks in large part to some poor run support. Just in the last month-plus the Tigers have lost Fister starts by scores of 3-2, 1-0, 3-0, 3-2 and 3-1.

In his one start this season vs. Toronto Fister gave up just one run through eight innings of an 11-1 Detroit victory back in April. 

In the battle of the bullpens for this series the Jays rank second in the Majors with a 2.79 ERA and have converted 19 of 28 save opportunities, while the Tigers rank 22nd with a 4.04 ERA and are 17-for-26 on save opps.

Tigers-Jays Betting Trends

The OVER/UNDERS are 23-17 in games played at Rogers Centre this season, as Jays home games lead the Majors by averaging a shade under 10 total runs per game.

Tigers-Jays Injury Update 

Toronto IFs Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind, who have combined for 34 homers and 99 RBI already this year, both sat out Monday's game due to various ailments, and their status for the rest of this series is uncertain. And Jays OF Melky Cabrera is already on the DL with a sore knee. 

Our Take on Tuesday's Game 

Fister has been pitching in some tough luck this season, and the Detroit sticks haven't been their usual nasty selves lately. But how long will those two trends continue? On the other side of this match-up we don't have much faith in the soft-tossing Wang, and Toronto is a bit banged up. So we like the Tigers for Tuesday.

Also, this might be a good spot to gamble with the road team on the run line, knowing Detroit will bat nine times. So we'll go with a run-line play on the Tigers for our free MLB picks on Tuesday

MLB Pick: Take Detroit minus the run and a half getting +120 at SBR Sportsbook. 

Bettors should check back at this page for updates, including fresh pitching match-ups and more free sports picks, as this series plays out.
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