Tigers vs. Angels Series Predictions

Darin Zank

Thursday, July 24, 2014 12:54 PM GMT

American League pennant contenders clash when the Angels and Tigers meet for four games in Anaheim, starting Thursday night (10:05 pm ET). Here's our preview of this series, with free MLB picks on each contest to come.

 

24th July
Tigers vs. Angels Game 1

By: Ron Patrick

 

Tigers-Angels Betting Odds
As of Thursday morning the best price we could find on LA and Garrett Richards was the -113 offered at Heritage, while Detroit and Max Scherzer could be found at +113 at SBR Sportsbook. And most shops were listing the 'over/under' on Thursday's game at seven runs.

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Series Set-Up
Detroit just took two of three games in Arizona, winning Wednesday 11-5. So the Tigers have won three of their last four series and eight of their last 13 games. At 56-42 Motor City's Kitties lead the AL Central by 6.5 games over second-place Cleveland.

LA, meanwhile, just dropped two of three games at home to Baltimore, avoiding the sweep with a 3-2 come-from-behind victory Wednesday. But the Angels have won five of their last six series and 22 of their last 29 games. At 60-40 LA sits in second place in the AL West, two games behind first-place Oakland.

This is the second meeting between these teams this season; back in April the Tigers took two of three games from the Angels in Detroit.

Check Out the AL's Starting Pitchers with Top Betting Value!

Thursday's Throwers
Richards (11-2, 2.47) has rather quietly emerged as one of the best starters in the American League. He's 15/20 on quality starts, and running on a streak of nine in a row. Last time out he held Seattle to one run and three hits through eight innings, and since the beginning of June Richards has given up just nine ER through 64 2/3 innings.

On the season Richards has allowed just 91 hits in 131 innings, walked 44 and struck out 134. The Angels are 15-5 in games Richards has started, with the totals leaning toward the 'unders' by a 12-6 margin.

Richards started once against Detroit last year, throwing seven innings of two-hit, shutout ball in a 10-0 LA win.

Scherzer (11-3, 3.34) is 12/20 on quality starts this year, and four for his last five. Most recently he gave up two ER in 5 2/3 innings against Cleveland, and over his last five starts he's allowed six ER through 33 2/3 innings.

For the season last year's Cy Young winner has allowed 119 hits in 132 innings, walked 39 and whiffed 150. The Tigers are 14-6 in Scherzer's starts, with the totals leaning 'under' 12-8.

Scherzer has started once this season against LA, allowing one run and three hits, striking out nine, in seven innings of a 5-2 Detroit victory back in April.

In the comparison of the bullpens in this series the Angels rank 20th in ERA at 3.75, converting 27 of 40 save opportunities, while the Tigers rank 26th in ERA at 4.37, making good on 25 of 35 save chances.

That Detroit bullpen got a boost Wednesday with the acquisition of Texas reliever Joakim Soria. Whether he'll take over the closer role from the struggling Joe Nathan, for the moment, is uncertain.

 

With the Sticks
Detroit ranks second in team OBP at .332 and third in scoring at 4.8 runs per game.

LA ranks third in OBP at .331 and first in scoring at a shade under five runs per game.

Compare Our Handicappers MLB Picks on the Tigers vs. Angels Game 1!

Tigers-Angels Betting Trends
Detroit is a ML-best 30-17 on the road this season.

LA is 35-18 at home this year.

The Tigers have leaned toward the 'overs' this season by a 52-42 margin.

 

Free Pick for Thursday
While the starting pitchers in this match-up have been impressive, these two lineups rank among the best in baseball, and the two bullpens are iffy. So while we're not sure who's going to win this game, we like the 'over' seven runs for our free MLB pick on this series opener.