Detroit evened this series at a game apiece with a tough 2-0 victory Tuesday evening, much to this MLB handicapper's delight. How do we think Wednesday's series rubber match might play out?
Tigers-Pirates Game 2 Review
Newcomer Shane Greene threw eight innings of three-hit, shutout ball, walking none, throwing just 81 pitches, in leading Detroit to a 2-0 victory. Joakim Soria, closing in place of the injured Joe Nathan, threw a perfect ninth for his third save of this season.
Tuesday's game was a scoreless tie into the seventh inning, before the Tigers pushed across a run. They then added an insurance tally in the top of the ninth.
Pittsburgh got a quality start from AJ Burnett, who only gave up one run through 6 2/3 innings, but no help from the bats, which came up with just three singles all night.
Detroit won Tuesday as a +100 “dog” on the MLB odds betting line, and the game never approached its total of 7.5.
Tigers-Pirates Game 3 Betting Odds
As of early Wednesday morning the best price we could find on Pittsburgh with Francisco Liriano was the -135 offered at Bovada, while Detroit and Alfredo Simon could be found getting +130 at GT Bets. And most books were listing the total on tonight's game at 7.5, although there were some sevens out there.
Wednesday's Pitching Match-Up
Liriano will be making his second start of this season. He started on Opening Day for the Pirates, and held Cincy to two runs on two hits through seven innings, although Pittsburgh lost that game 5-2.
Last year Liriano, by our tough standards, went 14-for-29 on quality starts; the Pirates went 14-15 in those starts, with the totals skewing toward the UNDERS by an 18-9 margin.
Liriano started once against Detroit last year, giving up two runs and three hits, walking four while striking out nine, through six innings of a 5-2 Pirates loss.
Simon will be making his second start this season for his new team. Last Friday the former Red gave up three runs and seven hits through 5 1/3 innings of an 8-4 Detroit victory at Cleveland.
Last year, pitching for Cincinnati, Simon went 19-for-32 on quality starts; the Reds went 19-13 in those starts, with the totals leaning toward the UNDERS 18-14.
Simon started four times against Pittsburgh last year, allowing 12 runs and 18 hits through 25 innings. His Reds won three of those games.
Tigers-Pirates Game 3 Free Pick
These teams have played two close games in this series so far, and with these two starters going tonight's game will probably play out the same way. But we like Simon, and he's an underdog. The value MLB pick on the line for this game resides with the Tigers.
Free MLB Pick: Detroit +140 at The Greek