Pick Tigers +105 as Verlander's Return Will Keep Visiting Pirates in Check

Charles Stark

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 12:00 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jun. 30, 2015 12:00 PM GMT

When was the last time Justin Verlander was an underdog at home? Honestly I don't know either so I am backing him and the Detroit Tigers today against the Pittsburgh Pirates on the plus money line.

Odds
It is a pretty simple reason why Detroit is the underdog in this spot, the pitching matchup does side with the Pirates according to the numbers.MLB odds makers have come out with the Pirates at around a -120 favorite. The best odds I have found on Detroit, who I am backing, is at Wagerweb sports book at +110. Getting a quality pitcher at home on the plus money line is good value for me.

 

The Pitchers
Back to that simple reason why Detroit is the underdog, Gerrit Cole is on the mound for the Pirates. What a tremendous year he has had so far and comes into this game with a 2.16 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. On top of those good statistics he has 102 strikeouts in 95 innings, and is a real contender for the National League Cy Young Award. Still, let's hold off on the awards just yet. Although he is having a stellar year so far it is still just a second year in the major leagues, and there are times he has looked subpar to good not great. There are a couple reasons to go against him today , first he is coming off a rough outing against the Reds allowing five earned runs in only four innings pitched off of eight hits. And second, Detroit has already faced him once this year. That second reason, usually tough on some pitchers, is that this will be the fourth time this season he has faced the same team twice. He pitched pretty much the same against the Phillies both times (the worst hitting team in baseball), but in his other two against the Reds and the Cubs, those two teams had a lot more success their second time around against him. I look for Detroit to do the same. For the Tigers Justin Verlander takes the mound and has only made two appearances this season. Career wise he has been one of the most dominant pitchers in this past decade with a 3.54 career ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. In his last three years at home he has a 3.12 ERA so I will gladly take the value with him today.

Must Read: Check out Charles' Nationals vs. Braves MLB pick

At the Plate
The Tigers are the better offense across the board. They are ranked 10th in runs scored compared to the Pirates ranked 21st. The Tigers lead the league in batting average at .275 compared to the Pirates ranked 14th at .254. In on base plus slugging percentage Detroit is ranked fifth in the league at .754 compared to the Pirates ranked 21st at .689. Up and down statistically there really is no comparison between these two teams, and besides leading the league in batting average, the Tigers also lead the league in hits per game.

Because of Cole's strong season so far it makes sense to make the Pirates a small favorite in this spot, especially with Verlander coming back from injury. All signs indicate though that he is healthy, ready to go, and should keep the Pirates in check today. Grab the value MLB pick with the Tigers on the plus money line.

MLB Pick: Tigers +110 at Wagerweb

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