Detroit has the edge playing at home, is utilizing a more experienced pitcher, which is seen in the betting odds. Yet, it is still April and other than Oakland, nobody in the American League has looked superior.
Same Old Start for Tigers
Since Detroit has been a regular contender for the playoffs, they have come out the starting gate – like a tortoise. The Tigers are 10-7 and this goes hand in hand with the past four seasons on this date.
Long time Motor City fans yearn for the old days like 1984, when the Tigers played like a supped-up Cadillac, starting the season 35-5 on the way to winning the World Series.
Detroit came into this season thinking more in terms of pitching and defense, believing they have enough offense to carry them. While the season is just over three weeks in, the Tigers are averaging 4.2 runs a game, which is far below expectations.
Having two supposedly defensive-minded shortstops has not worked because both have made errors and Alex Gonzalez was just released, leaving the job to Kevin Romine, who does not appear to be an everyday answer.
Miguel Cabrera is off to the worst start of his career and because Detroit only has 14 home runs, they called up J.D. Martinez from Triple-A, since he has 10 bombs already this season, adding a power bat. All these factors make the Tigers a difficult team to recommend for MLB baseball handicappers.
White Sox Offense Ringing Up Runs
Go to any baseball website which has statistics and when you peruse offensive numbers; the team from the South Side of Chicago is in the Top 7 of almost every important one in the big leagues.
Manager Robin Ventura has been getting great production from the likes of Tyler Flowers, Alexei Ramirez, Dayan Viciedo, Conor Gillaspie and Adam Eaton, all with on-base percentages of .347 and higher.
Even Adam Dunn has been improved to this point with a better batting eye and drawing walks like he used to and Jose Abreu leads Chicago in home runs (6) and rbi’s (19).
The real concern about this offense is not related to one particular game like tonight, rather down the road. The Pale Hose lead baseball in strikeouts and eventually, the lack of additional runners on base matters.
Pitching Matchup for Wednesday
Chicago has Andre Rienzo taking the place of Felipe Paulino, who went on the DL. Rienzo was 0-2 after three Triple-A starts, and worked a scoreless relief inning on Sunday against the Texas. Rienzo made 10 starts for the White Sox last season and features a low 90’s fastball, cutter, curve and changeup, none which are remarkable. However, the Sox right-hander will forever be a trivia question. Name the first Brazilian to pitch in the major leagues?
Drew Smyly (1-1, 4.00, 1.22 WHIP) offer Detroit great versatility and was used in the bullpen to start the season because of off days and not needing a fifth starter. Last week he made his debut as a starting pitcher and he threw 82 pitches in just three innings, allowing four runs to the Angels. Smyly’s fastball is the 89 to 93 MPH range, but when his cutter is working, that is when he’s at his best, placing the MLB odds in Detroit’s favor.
Chicago’s bullpen has been uncontrollable, literally, with as many walks as strikeouts (45), which plays directly into them posting a 5.32 ERA (worst in the AL) and why they have blown five of seven save chances.
One major difference between the White Sox and Tigers pens is walks and Detroit has only issued 13 free passes and has a better than 3 to 1 K-to-W ratio. The Tigers ERA is high at 5.22 (next to last in AL), because they have been tagged for eight home runs, ruining a few sports picks.
Head to Head Combat and Betting Odds
Detroit is 15-5 at Comerica Park against Chicago the past three years with the UNDER at 10-9-1 after the Tigers 8-6 victory last night.
The sportsbooks shoved Detroit out as a -180 favorite with a total of 8.5 and early this morning, the Tigers were moved 10 cents higher to -190. A potential reason for the shift could be the White Sox are only 5-19 in road games against left-handed starters the last two seasons.
Ultimately, Detroit should take down a run of the mill opposing pitcher and have strong at bats versus Chicago’s pathetic bullpen and emerge victorious. The last three years, the Tigers are 31-7 when listed as a home favorite in the -175 to -200 range.
MLB Free Picks: Detroit wins