Neither the Tigers or Astros have been playing very good baseball as of late, but one of these teams will pick up a win in the series opener tonight. Let's review the available MLB odds for Friday.
Along with Toronto (at home to the Yankees) and St. Louis (at home to the Marlins), the Astros are one of the biggest favorites on the MLB odds board for Friday.
Just how bad is the damage? Houston is quoted as high as -225 at some MLB betting sites, which leaves Detroit as a huge +200 underdog. A total of eight runs can be found at this time, with most of that offensive production expected to come from the Astros against the unreliable Alfredo Simon.
Houston Astros (Keuchel)
Things are heating up in the AL West, as the Astros are now just one and a half games up on the Angels for the top spot. Their recent play hasn't helped their cause whatsoever, as they've dropped four of their previous five games and have gone 2-7 over their past nine overall. Houston's now at 62-53 for the season.
After getting swept in Oakland and splitting a pair against the Giants, the Astros will be eager to get off to a fast start in this series against the Tigers. The good news is they'll have their most reliable pitcher taking the bump, that being left-hander Dallas Keuchel.
All season long Keuchel has been getting the job done for Houston, and there's little reason to expect that to change against Detroit. The southpaw is 13-6 with a 2.40 ERA and 1.01 WHIP so far in 2015 and now takes on a Detroit team that's been struggling.
Detroit Tigers (Simon)
The Tigers were able to avoid a three-game sweep in Kansas City yesterday, but their overall play recently has left a lot to be desired. They've lost three of four ahead of this opener with Houston and are sitting at 55-57 on the season, "good" for third place in the division.
We can safely rule remain skeptical about Detroit's chances of making the playoffs, but it does look like Miguel Cabrera will be able to return to the fold in the near future, maybe as soon as next week. Nonetheless, that Tigers rotation has been a mess this season, and now with David Price gone, things have gotten even worse.
Alfredo Simon will be getting the call this evening. He's 10-6 on the year but has labored his way to a 4.74 ERA and 1.44 WHIP. He's really going to have to lock in if he wants any chance of slowing down a pretty powerful Houston lineup in this spot.
It's not too often we recommend a run-line play, but we do feel strongly about Houston's chances of winning against Detroit in this spot.
The Tigers are firmly out of the playoff picture and have been playing like it recently, whereas the Astros are in the midst of a heated divisional battle and need every single win they can get. Houston is also at home here and have the massive advantage on the mound too, as Keuchel has been FAR more reliable than Simon all season long.
Keuchel has been a man possessed at home in 2015, posting a 10-0 record to go with a sparkling 1.26 ERA and .179 opposing batting average. Those are some truly dominant numbers, and we're not very intimidated about this meeting with a Detroit lineup that's without its best hitter in Miguel Cabrera and also doesn't have Yoenis Cespedes around anymore. Needless to say, we like Houston a lot tonight and will back them with our MLB picks to win by two or more runs to get more bang for our buck.
MLB Pick: Houston Astros -1.5 (-105) at 5Dimes