Pick Orioles for NL Division Game 1 vs. Tigers

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 1:26 PM GMT

The Baltimore Orioles have produced a profit as home MLB odds underdogs in recent years, which makes them an attractive option against the Detroit Tigers for Thursday's match. 

Familiar Territory
Detroit has reached this stage after clinching its fourth straight American League Central title, which is one of the biggest reasons why the club is listed as a -147 MLB odds favorite to win this best-of-five series at Pinnacle Sports, while it captured five of six regular-season meetings against Baltimore.

The Tigers will be led offensively by first baseman Miguel Cabrera and designated hitter Victor Martinez, who are a combined 9 for 23 at the plate against Thursday’s opposing starting pitcher.

MLB handicappers will find that the franchise is 29-23 on the road with a money line of -100 to -150, with the 'over' going 27-21-4 in that situation.

 

Big Birds
Baltimore captured the AL East crown by a sizable 12-game margin over the New York Yankees, as it finished third in the league with a plus-112 run differential—behind only the Oakland Athletics (+157) and Los Angeles Angels (+143).

The Orioles were the only team in baseball to finish with 200 or more home runs this season, which is important to consider when making your MLB picks, with outfielder Nelson Cruz leading the way with 40 round trippers.

Manager Buck Showalter’s squad produced a 45-27 record against teams with a better than .500 record, including a 31-15 mark in the second half of the regular season.

 

Scherzer
Tigers starting pitcher Max Scherzer (18-5, 3.15 ERA) has led the club to wins in his last five trips to the mound, including a 4-2 home victory over the Minnesota Twins last Thursday, as he gave up two runs and five hits over six frames.

The right-hander was fantastic down the stretch—posting a 3-0 record and 2.48 ERA in five September outings.

In six career games versus the Orioles, Scherzer is 3-1 with a 3.92 ERA, including a 1-0 mark and 4.95 ERA in three appearances at Oriole Park.

 

Tillman
Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman (13-6, 3.34 ERA) will throw the first pitch of a postseason game for the first time in his career, but he should be confident in his abilities, considering he finished the season with a 6-1 record and 2.33 ERA in 14 outings since the All-Star break.

The right-hander went 5-5 with a 2.54 ERA in 18 home efforts, with opposing hitters batting .224 against him (.254 on the road).

Tillman will look to improve upon his 3-0 mark and 3.58 ERA in six lifetime starts versus the Tigers.

 

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Orioles as one of their MLB postseason picks, as they’ve proven victorious in 35 of Tillman’s last 51 starts at this venue.

Free MLB Pick: Baltimore Orioles at YouWager