The Tigers hope that on a long homestand, they can get hot heading into the All-Star break; however the Pirates are carrying momentum this time around, and that could influence our MLB picks.
The Pirates and Tigers both won their weekend series, and they both had Monday off. On Tuesday night, in the first game of the series, the teams played into extra innings, with Detroit getting a two-run homer from J.D. Martinez in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game at 4-4. The winner of that game carries momentum into this contest.
With A.J. Burnett on the hill, the Pirates have to love their chances. Burnett pitched with the Pirates, then went to the Philadelphia Phillies, and then came back to the other side of Pennsylvania again for another tour of duty with the Bucs. He’s been better this time than he was the last time he pitched for Pittsburgh. Burnett has a 2.01 ERA with a 1.24 WHIP. In June, his ERA rose modestly to 2.41, and his WHIP also rose a little, to 1.40. Burnett has given up more than two runs in only three of his last 10 starts. He’s been cranking out a lot of strong outings for Pittsburgh, going at least seven complete innings on the nights when he’s been above average, and those nights have clearly outnumbered the nights when he’s been average or below-average. The only concern with Burnett is that he’s given up a total of 22 hits in his last two outings. Yet, even when he gives up a lot of hits, they generally don’t translate into runs. He’s given up a total of just four earned runs in those two starts with the 22 combined hits.
Detroit starter Alfredo Simon has lost the form he had in April and May. In June, the WHIP rose only a small bit, from 1.27 (season average) to 1.41, but the season ERA of 3.57, which is decent, is the product of a 5.40 ERA in June. Simon’s ERA at the end of his final start in May was just 2.67, so his ERA has risen almost a full run over the past month. Burnett has to get the edge here.
What’s The Pick?
The Pirates have the superior pitcher, and the Tigers have not shown they can consistently hit good pitching, even with Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, and J.D. Martinez. The MLB betting matchup is such that Pittsburgh winning is a much better MLB pick than the under.
MLB Pick: Pittsburgh +105 at BetOnline