Series Opener MLB Picks: Yankees vs. Tigers on the Money Line

Joe Gavazzi

Monday, April 20, 2015 1:27 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 20, 2015 1:27 PM UTC

The Yankees swept Tampa Bay and the Tigers won their 4th consecutive series when they trounced CWS (9-1) on Sunday. What's the best MLB pick for the first of their four games between NY & Detroit?

NY Yankees (Sabathia) vs. Detroit Tigers (Simon) (-120) 7:05 ET
The NY Yankees visit the Detroit Tigers in the first of a 4-game early-week matchup.  Slight underdogs on tonight's MLB odds, the Yankees come off a 3-game sweep at Tampa Bay in which they defeated the Rays by a combined count of 19-7.  Detroit won their 4th consecutive series when they trounced CWS (9-1) on Sunday to bounce back from a 12-3 loss.    The Yankees now stand 6-6 SU for the season.  Get used to it!  As after averaging 80.5 victories in the previous 2 years, the Yankees will be fortunate to be over .500 again this season.  Detroit continues to author the best record in baseball.  Detroit has averaged over 90 victories in the previous 3 seasons.  With a mark of 10-2, they are a +33 in run differential, outscoring the opposition 68-35. 

Tonight, the Yankees send C.C .Sabathia to the hill for his 3rd start of the season.  We have recorded victories by fading him in each of his 1st two starts.  His decline has been well-documented on these pages.  The short version is that from 2006 through 2012, Sabathia had an ERA of no greater than 3.23 and a WHIP of no greater than 1.23.   Since 2013, however, this aging left hander troubled by knee issues has been a shell of his former self.  In 2013, his ERA ballooned to 4.78.  Last year, in 8 starts, it was 5.28.  This season, it is 5.68.   Do not be fooled by the 15/1 KBB on which so many handicappers exclusively rely.  A more reliable indicator is that in 12 2/3 IP, Sabathia has been rocked for 9 runs and 15 hits.  We must continue to fade him until he has a positive performance.

The Tigers have a rotation that is a “make-over.”  Scherzer and Porcello have both departed, while Verlander remains sidelined.  Leading the charge has been Alfredo Simon.  In a pair of starts, Simon is 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA.  In his last start, Simon worked 8 IP, allowing just 2 singles and no runs in a 1-0 victory at Pittsburgh.  That runs his record in his last 7 April starts to 6-1 with a 1.72 ERA and .187 BAA.  

The bottom line to keep in mind when placing MLB picks here is that a price of -1.20 is a bargain on the best team in baseball.  We must continue to fade Sabathia until the line begins to accurately reflect his form of the last 3 seasons.

MLB Picks: Take Detroit Tigers -114 at Pinnacle

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