The New York Yankees are fresh off a four-game split with the Miami Marlins. We’re looking at a Justin Verlander-Adam Warren matchup on the MLB odds in this spot.
The Detroit Tigers Can Win Because...
They are facing a pitcher they should be able to do something against. Adam Warren has actually done better than expected, getting his ERA to 3.78. You wonder if that's going to hold, though -- he is going through his first full season as a big-league starter. He made only three starts in over 100 previous appearances with the Yankees, dating back to 2012. He is learning how to handle the grind of being given the ball every five days.
One point of concern with Warren is that he's completed seven full innings only twice in his past 10 starts. He's not a big innings-eater, and while the Yankees have a strong closer in Dellin Betances, they can't overwork him, especially since he got a save of more than three outs earlier in the week against the Miami Marlins. If Warren doesn't finish six full innings, the Yankees could be in some trouble.
What the Tigers are also going to derive confidence is that they scored four runs on Warren in the first inning of a previous 2015 meeting in Detroit. The Tigers did give up six runs in the first, but scoring four off a pitcher in the first inning? That's the kind of thing which can stick in a pitcher's mind.
One more reason to take Detroit in this game: With a rainout in Cincinnati against the Reds on Thursday, starter Justin Verlander got an extra day of rest. Verlander returned to the Tigers last Saturday after some minor-league rehab work following an injury that had sidelined him since the beginning of the season. Verlander could be in position to perform a lot better with that extra day off. Plenty of pitchers do better with five days of rest compared to four.
The New York Yankees Can Win Because...
They are facing a very uncertain pitcher who has no real idea of what to expect when he goes to the mound. Verlander is just a total question mark here. He could be vintage Justin Verlander, or he could also be the pitcher who has been saddled by numerous injuries over the past few years and hasn't been able to be regularly good from April all the way through September. Verlander went five innings and gave up two runs last Saturday against Cleveland, which is decent but not great. The Tigers have a shaky bullpen and need more than five innings from Verlander. If they don't get six innings at minimum, their bullpen is going to be taxed beyond the breaking point.
The Yankees will also be aware of the fact that while their own starter, Adam Warren, is not dominant, he's very rarely given up large numbers of earned runs in each start. He's given up more than three runs in only two of his last 10 starts, and never in his last seven starts. He stays away from the big inning, and that's very important.
We’re not sure what we’ll get from Verlander in this spot as it’s only his second start of the season and he’s a bit of a wild card. However, we do know that Warren pitches pretty well at home. He has a 2.20 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP at Yankee Stadium where opponents bat just .221 against him. With a reasonable price of -113 on the Yankees at BetOnline, I’m going to roll with them here.
MLB Pick: Yankees -113 at BetOnline