Detroit drew first blood in their weekend series against Baltimore, and the Tigers are favorites on the MLB odds to topple the Orioles in Saturday's scrap behind David Price.
Victor Martinez and JD Martinez smacked two of Detroit's three homers in the series opener on Friday as baseball got back to business following the All-Star Game, Jose Iglesias' 3-run blast in the fourth proving to be the coup de grâce in the 7-3 Tigers triumph over the Orioles. Baltimore starter Ubaldo Jimenez served up all three long flies as the Birds continued their slide that began in late-June.
The two sides return to the Comerica Park diamond for Game 2 tonight (7:08 PM ET), and Baltimore's woes are expected to continue according to the morning MLB betting board. The cheapest price available on the Tigers can be found at 5Dimes where Detroit is listed at -132 behind lefthander David Price.
Chris Tillman is the scheduled starter for Buck Showalter's side, and we're watching what began as an 8 run total climb to 8½ following overnight action, the juice pretty evenly split at sports books monitored by SBR's live MLB odds.
Tillman, Price Have Good Histories Against Opposing Lineups
There have been some bumps along the way for Tillman since the MLB betting schedule reached the month of June, but Baltimore batters and relievers have managed to come to the rescue in those games to help the team to six victories in his last seven trips to the hill. The 27-year-old righthander had a dandy outing just before the all-star break, earning a no-decision in a 3-2 Orioles victory vs. the Washington Nationals with six innings of 2-run, 6-K baseball.
Tillman has also been pretty dandy over the years when facing the Tigers. After helping the Orioles to a victory in the opener of last October's ALDS, Baltimore now stands 5-2 when the Californian takes on Detroit, Tillman pitching to a 3.58 ERA in those assignments. The Birds are a level 2-2 when Tillman appears at Comerica Park where his ERA is a tick lower at 3.46.
Price has been equally effective in seven starts since June arrived, Detroit winning six of the seven games while their ace southpaw dazzled with a 1.59 ERA. He allowed one run or less in five of those contests, striking out 52 in just over 50 frames, giving his 115 K's on the year which is good enough for 6th-best among AL hurlers. Price has better overall numbers on the road than at home, but the Tigers are still 7-1 when he pitches in front of the Motown faithful.
The former Vanderbilt standout pitched well when he faced the Orioles in the deciding third game of last year's ALDS, tossing eight innings and allowing just two runs, yet Detroit batters didn't help him in a 2-1 loss. Including that outing, Saturday will be Price's 19th career start against Baltimore, his record standing at 7-4 in those matchups while owning an excellent 2.78 ERA.
Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick
Chris Segal's second full season as a major league umpire isn't trending quite as heavy to the 'over' as his first, but baseball bettors playing above the scoreboard tally are still ahead. The Virginia native finished a strong 18-7 O/U in 2014, and stands 8-6 to the high side this year with one of the 'over' winners his first career plate assignment in Comerica Park at the end of May. Segal has been very profitable for anyone playing the MLB odds on home teams, 10 of his 14 contests behind the dish going that direction, 9-3 when favored.
A warm, muggy afternoon could give way to some scattered thunderstorms this evening in Detroit, though the weatherman doesn't think that will happen until around 9-10 o'clock. It shouldn't cause more than a brief delay if the rain does come, and the first pitch is forecast to come with the thermometer at 88º with a light SW breeze (in from right).
It's just difficult to like anything about the Orioles right now, despite Tillman's history against the Tigers. My free MLB pick for Game 2 will be a run-line play on Detroit.
My pick: Tigers -1½ (+160) at 5Dimes