Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees return home from a long road trip, and SBR will trail all three games this weekend vs. the Tigers with previews and free MLB picks.
Sunday's Game Three
By: Willie Bee
Seven weeks from now we'll know who the five AL playoff teams will be for 2013. All current indications are the Detroit Tigers will be No. 1 on that list, and the New York Yankees won't be among the other four.
Last year's ALCS participants meet for their final regular season contest on Sunday afternoon in a game that TBS will broadcast nationally (1 PM ET). The rubber game of the series between the Tigers and Yankees features a matchup of potential Hall of Famers on the mound, and yet the duel between Justin Verlander and Andy Pettitte is seen as anything but a close battle according to the MLB odds.
Detroit went out as $1.60 chalk about the time the Tigers were finishing up a 9-3 rout of the Yankees on Saturday. That moneyline is up to -175 after overnight trading while the 8.5 run total has swung from favoring the UNDER to favoring the OVER.
Verlander appears to have shucked his midseason blues with victories in each of his last two outings. He worked eight strong frames Tuesday in Cleveland, allowing just four hits and a run while striking out seven, the victory over the Tribe stopping a 2-game skid. He fell to the Yankees in Detroit back in April, and the Tigers split his four assignments vs. New York last season, including a win in Game 3 of the ALCS.
While Verlander seems to be coming out of his funk, Pettitte is coming off his worst outing of the season to leave the Yanks winless in his last four starts, all on the road. The White Sox cranked out 11 hits off the lefty before he was sent to the showers in the third frame, and all seven runs Pettitte allowed were earned to leave him with a season-high 4.71 ERA.
Pettitte missed facing the Tigers in Motown earlier this year; his last appearance vs. Detroit was Game 1 of the 2012 ALCS when Detroit posted a 6-4 victory in 12 innings. Pettitte's regular season numbers vs. the Tigers include a 3.75 ERA and 7-6 record.
Once again, warm and muggy is your Bronx forecast this afternoon when the thermometer is expected to reach the mid-80s with a light WNW breeze (out to right-center). Though a bit streaky, umpire Paul Emmel (8-14-3 O/U/P) has generally been a friend to UNDER bettors. The Michigan native is on a 4-game run to the low side of totals; it should be noted that both games he's worked this year involving either the Tigers or Yankees skipped past the number.
The top of the Tigers order did the damage in Saturday's game as Detroit sent the contest past the total all by themselves. I'm going to play it that way again Sunday with a free pick on the OVER.
Saturday's Game Two
By: Willie Bee
Friday's series opener in New York between the Yankees and Detroit Tigers seemed to have it all. The 46,545 fans on hand got to boo Alex Rodriguez in his first home game since being suspended 211 games, then sat in silence when Mariano Rivera suffered a rare blown save, and finally got to cheer a walk-off victory in the 10th. In the end, New York's 4-game slide and Detroit's 12-game win streak both came to an end.
The Yankees and Tigers get right back to business with an early matinee on Saturday's baseball betting slate. Anibal Sanchez and Detroit went out as $1.40 chalk on the overnight lines, a figure that has been bet up to $1.65 at many shops charted on SBR's live MLB odds.
Phil Hughes is set to take his turn in the NY rotation, and the middle game of the set is carrying an 8.5 run total evenly priced high and low.
Detroit has won Sanchez's last three starts, and he pitched well enough to win the game before the streak began, a 1-0 loss in Kansas City. He was on this mound in Game 2 of last year's ALCS, hurling seven scoreless frames in a 3-0 win; two months earlier, the Yanks slapped Sanchez around in Detroit shortly after he joined the Tigers. Those were his first two appearances against them since his MLB debut with the Marlins in May 2006 when he pitched scoreless baseball into the sixth at old Yankee Stadium for the win.
Hughes has been inconsistent from one start to the next, one inning to the next in many cases. Only nine of his 21 assignments have met the minimum to be a quality start, and the Yankees are lucky to be 8-13 in those contests. The Padres banged him around pretty good last weekend in San Diego, Hughes needing 71 pitches to record only eight outs before exiting, after the Yankees managed to win his two previous starts.
The Tigers also pounded on him in Detroit back in April, scoring four times while Hughes could only make it through four innings on 87 tosses. He's 5-5 lifetime vs. the Tigers with a 4.42 ERA. Three of those wins came at Comerica Park.
Get the betting odds report for today's baseball betting right here!~
Rain delayed the start of Friday's tilt, but shouldn't be an issue for Game 2 when partly cloudy skies and the mid-80s on the thermometer make up this afternoon's forecast. Jerry Meals is expected behind the plate, and the 22 year veteran umpire is 12-10-2 O/U/P on the year, 1-0-1 in his two previous games in the Bronx calling balls and strikes.
Muggy and warm leads to visions of a high-scoring affair today. I'm adding the OVER to my free pick list on Saturday.
Friday's Series Opener
By: Willie Bee
There's always something to do in the Big Apple, the City That Never Sleeps. This weekend, for example, you can catch the Summer Stroll street fair down in Brooklyn on Friday, the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival both Saturday and Sunday out in Queens at Corona Park, and hip-hop DJ Cool Herc is slated for shows on Central Park's SummerStage along with 5 Pointz: The Institute of Higher Burnin'.
Or you could take in the circus, aka the series between the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers. Friday will be Alex Rodriguez's homecoming since the suspensions went down earlier this week, and the reaction from Yankee fans will be every bit worth the admission.
Detroit went out as $1.20 chalk on the opening MLB odds for Game 1 that features Rick Porcello pitching for the Tigers opposite Ivan Nova. That moneyline has dropped at some betting outlets while going up a few pennies at others.
The second meeting of 2013 between the old foes is also the first regular season matchup between the Tigers and Yanks in the Bronx since late-April 2012. New York took two of three in Motown near the end of this season's first month (2-0-1 O/U/P), and new Yankee Stadium has been a huge advantage with a 10-3 mark vs. Detroit since the park opened in 2009.
Streaking Tigers Pulling Away In AL Central
The Tigers reach New York hotter than any team outside of Atlanta. Detroit just swept four from the Tribe in Cleveland to run its win streak to 12 (8-4 O/U during streak) and increase the AL Central lead to a full seven games.
This is only the second home series since the All-Star Game for the Yankees who return to the Bronx after traveling to meet the Dodgers, Padres and White Sox. It was a disastrous trip with just two wins in eight games, and a 4-game skid to start this series. Just a game above .500 now, New York has fallen 11 games off the pace in fourth place in the AL East.
Porcello hits the mound with six consecutive quality starts and the Tigers winning the last five. The righty has actually pitched better on the road where his ERA is more than a run better than at home, but his lone appearance on this mound was a forgettable experience (5 IP, 6 ER). Porcello has since beaten the Yankees three straight times, all in Detroit.
Nova is trying his best to pick up the load left by the fat guy and the old guy in the New York rotation, but the Yankees aren't supporting him enough to make it count. He's clipping along with a 2.14 ERA since coming off the DL on June 23 only to see the pinstripes 3-4 in those contests. New York has scored a grand total of 18 runs in the tilts, eight of those in a single game vs. the Royals.
Detroit chased Nova early in his season debut at Comerica Park on April 4, leaving him 1-3 with a 7.36 ERA in six starts and a relief appearance over the years, including the 2011 ALDS.
Can I Talk To You About Constipation?
The total in this game has me pretty bound up, so to speak. The number started at 8 with the OVER juiced to -120, and we've seen it rise to 8.5 runs and still leaning to the high side. Perhaps baseball bettors believe the Tigers are going to pound on Nova, because the New York lineup has been pretty quiet.
Thunderstorms are likely in New York City today and this evening, along with a 10-15 mph SW wind (out to left). Saturday and Sunday should be fine on the weather front, so this one could end up being played in a day-night twinbill.
How all of the media distractions play into the game is the great unknown, but I'll be playing the hotter team regardless. Detroit as small road chalk is my free pick for Friday.
My pick: Tigers -118 at Bet365