Pick Verlander -154 in Tigers vs. Astros

Jeff Grant

Friday, June 27, 2014 12:00 PM GMT

The Detroit Tigers are the hottest team in baseball, which provides them a major edge in opening up a three-game series against the Houston Astros Friday night.

Let’s take a closer look at the MLB betting odds for this American League matchup at Minute Maid Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 8:10 p.m. ET.

 

Red hot
Detroit is averaging 7.2 runs and hitting .356 with runners in scoring position over the course of its seven-game win streak, which includes a 6-0 shutout victory over the Texas Rangers as -115 road favorites Thursday. 

The Tigers have turned a 1.5-game deficit into a 4.5-game lead in the AL Central standings during their current run, while they’ve compiled a 24-13 record when playing away from Comerica Park. 

MLB handicappers will find that the squad is 22-12 as road favorites of -150 to -175 dating back to the start of the 2012 campaign.


Trying to put something together

Houston hasn’t won back-to-back games since June 11-12, while it has dropped nine of 11 meetings against Detroit since arriving in the Junior Circuit. 

The Astros will need second baseman Jose Altuve to continue his torrid production at the plate, as he leads the AL with 107 hits and is batting .459 over his last nine games played.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the franchise is 27-49 as home underdogs of +125 to +150, with the UNDER going 38-35-3 in that situation.


Verlander
Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (6-7, 4.82 ERA) will look to snap a personal three-game losing streak, but he didn’t earn a decision in a 5-4 road victory over the Cleveland Indians last time out, as he gave up two runs and five hits over seven strong innings. 

The right-hander is 4-2 with a 5.06 ERA in eight road outings, with opposing hitters batting .259 against him (.301 at home).

In three career starts versus the Astros, Verlander has put together a perfect 2-0 record and 1.33 ERA.


Peacock
Astros starting pitcher Brad Peacock (2-4, 4.50 ERA) hasn’t earned a decision in watching the club drop his last two efforts, as he’s surrendered three runs and six hits over 10 frames in that span. 

The right-hander has yet to allow more than four earned runs in 10 starts this season, but it’s important to point out that he was scratched from his last assignment due to a stomach illness.

Peacock suffered a 3-2 road defeat to the Tigers in his only career appearance against them on May 7—giving up three runs on four hits over 6.2 innings.

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Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Tigers as one of their MLB picks, as the Astros have dropped six of Peacock’s last seven trips to the mound as a home underdog. 

MLB Pick:  Detroit Tigers