Underdog MLB Picks: Veteran Verlander & Tigers +145 vs. Astros

Ross Benjamin

Saturday, August 15, 2015 2:41 PM GMT

Before eating the chalk with this MLB pick, ask yourself, can Houston continue to maintain their torrid winning pace at home?  Will Detroit have a bit of spark with Miguel Cabrera returning to the lineup? 

Tigers and Astros Betting Odds at Minute Maid Park on Saturday
The Astros and Tigers will play in their second of a three game series on Saturday. The opening pitch at Minute Maid Park in Houston is slated for 7:10 PM ET. Houston was a 5-1 winner in Friday’s series opener, and they did it behind the stellar pitching of Dallas Keuchel who improved to 11-0 at home this year. The starting pitchers for today’s game will be a pair of right-handers. Veteran Justin Verlander gets the nod for Detroit, and it will be Collin McHugh for Houston.

 

Both Teams in a Hitting Funk
The Tigers have inexplicably continued to struggle offensively in recent games. They’ve averaged only 2.9 runs per game and had a lousy .225 team batting average over their previous seven outings. On a positive note, star slugger Miguel Cabrera returned from the disabled list on Friday after missing 35 games due to a strained calf. He was 0-for-3 last night with two strikeouts, and his batting average dipped to .346 on the year. You can give him a bit of an excuse due to the long layoff, and then having to face Dallas Keuchel upon his return.

Houston has averaged just 2.7 runs per game, and had a miserable .198 team batting average during their previous seven contests. Somehow they managed to win three of those seven, largely due in part to allowing only 3.1 runs per game during that stretch. Last night’s win improved the Astros 2015 home record to an outstanding 39-18 (.684).

 

Starting Pitchers Report
Justin Verlander has endured an extremely frustrating season. He began the year on the disabled list, and upon his return, Verlander has gone a dismal 1-9 in his team starts with a lofty 4.57 ERA. However, Verlander has been terrific in his last three starts on the road, posting an excellent 1.25 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, and struck out 19 while walking just 1.

Collin McHugh is enjoying a solid 2015 campaign thus far, going 15-8 in his team starts with a 3.97 ERA. It must be noted, McHugh has been in a bit of shaky form during his previous three starts, evidenced by compiling an unimpressive 1.56 WHIP in those outings. He’s made one start versus Detroit this year, and allowed 9 hits while walking 1 in a 6-2 Houston loss.

 

Final Analysis
I just can’t ignore Verlander’s last three road starts, and the money line betting value in this game. Verlander’s power pitching matches up very well against an opponent which has struck out more times than any other team in baseball. I’m siding with the road underdog as one of my MLB picks on Saturday. GTBets provides me with the best price pertaining to this exact wager.

MLB Picks: Play the Tigers +145