Sanchez to Make the Difference for Tigers +113 vs. Anemic Rays

Ross Benjamin

Monday, July 27, 2015 1:48 PM GMT

Our MLB handicapping professional provides us with a betting preview article pertaining to Monday’s Detroit and Tampa Bay game. Which one of these struggling teams will be able to get back on track today? 

Tigers and Rays at “The Trop” on Monday
The Rays and Tigers will meet for the first time this season in the opener of a three game series on Monday. The first pitch is slated for 7:10 PM ET at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.

 

Starting Pitchers
Veteran right-hander Annibal Sanchez will get the start today for Detroit. Sanchez has gone a perfect 8-0 in his last eight team starts with a very respectable 3.16 ERA. The Tigers have provided Sanchez with plenty of run support during those eight starts, averaging a robust 7.3 runs per game. The Detroit hurler is 10-1 in his career team starts versus AL East opponents, and his teams have a decisive +3.3 run per game differential in those eleven contests.

The Rays Nate Karns will be on the hill for Monday’s series opener. Karns is 4-6 in his home team starts this season with a 4.09 ERA, and a less than impressive 1.46 WHIP. Unlike his pitching adversary today, Karns has received very little run support in recent starts. During his last five outings, the Rays have scored a combined 7 runs. This will be Karns’ first career start versus Detroit.

 

Getting Late Early for Tigers
Detroit was pretty much a 2015 consensus favorite to win the AL Central. However, they’ve far from lived up to expectations so far. As a result of Sunday’s 11-1 blowout loss at Boston, they’ve now gone 4-9 in their last thirteen, and trail first place Kansas City by 11.5 games. There’s still a lot of baseball left to be played, but Detroit is in danger of realistically falling from being a serious contender. On a positive note, this is still a very potent batting order, and even with the absence of top slugger Miguel Cabrera who continues to be sidelined by a calf injury.

 

Rays Anemic Bats
After being one of the surprise teams in the American League during the early going of 2015, Tampa Bay has faded badly in recent weeks. As a matter of fact, they’ve gone 7-17 since 6/28, and that’s the worst record in baseball during that time frame. In that 24 game stretch, Tampa has just one player with 45 at bats or more hitting better than .235. John Jaso has been the lone exception by going 16-for-48 (.333). Unfortunately, Jaso has gone a horrible 1-for-14 (.071) in his career when facing Annibal Sanchez. Tampa Bay has scored 3 runs or less in eight of the last nine, and eleven of their previous thirteen games. They’ve also had 8 hits or less in twelve of their last thirteen.

 

Final Analysis
You have to respect the roll that Detroit’s starter Annibal Sanchez is on. Despite their recent struggles, the Tigers are far superior offensively compared to today’s opponent. My only skepticism pertains to Detroit playing last night at Boston in the ESPN national telecast, and then traveling to play with no rest on Monday. Recent history has shown that teams haven’t fared well when thrust into that position. However, I’m still going to have a small lean toward the visitors as one of my MLB picks today. 5Dimes provides us with the best value regarding this wager.

MLB Pick: Detroit +113 on the money line at 5Dimes.

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