Veteran Tigers Squad To Get It Done vs. Tough Red Sox Offense

Doug Upstone

Sunday, August 21, 2016 2:54 PM UTC

Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016 2:54 PM UTC

For those betting baseball, this is about picking a winner, but for Boston and Detroit, this series finale matters with wild card implications and possibly even more for the Red Sox trying to win AL East.

This four-game series started rather contentiously, with Boston not thrilled about playing a day game on a Thursday to get the action started after requesting Detroit about switching to a nighttime affair. With Boston GM Dave Dombrowski in charge of Detroit organization last year, some media and Twitter followers thought this was part of the reason for the Tigers turning down the request. However, Detroit has been playing Thursday afternoon home games all season and owes Boston nothing, since these type of inquiries are commonly turned down.

On the season for those betting baseball, you're always friendly MLB handicapper has been doing his job for readers at 32-14, +14.35 units. On Sunday, we go after another winner being televised on TBS.


Pitching Matchup - Rodriguez vs. Verlander
Eduardo Rodriguez (2-5, 5.11 ERA, 1.40 WHIP) tweaked his hamstring on Tuesday and pitched just four innings. Too bad, since the left-hander had not allowed a run or hit at Baltimore and struck out seven while walking two. It is presumed he will be fine for this start and Boston needs him down the stretch to win the division or make the postseason. When right, Rodriguez has lively mid-90 fastball and compliments that pitch with a deluxe changeup he is unafraid to use versus left or right-handed batters.

Justin Verlander (12-7, 3.44, 1.05) is no longer equipped with the blazing fastball consistently in the upper 90's at 33, but he still finds the 93-95 MPH range. Verlander seems to have made the transition from hard-thrower to complete pitcher and he's only given up more than two earned runs once since July 2nd, covering nine starts. Has loose delivery and excellent arm motion on his changeup, which has become an increasingly more important pitch for him.


Offensive Numbers
Boston averages baseball-best 5.5 runs per game and has a deep and varied lineup. Mookie Betts has blossomed into a terrific player at only 23, with exceptional power and hitting ability. Other youngsters are Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr., who have come into their own are on base a ton. Of course, veterans like retiring David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia have delivered splendid all-around seasons and Hanley Ramirez second year in Bean Town has been much smoother.

The clock is ticking for Detroit, who has a number of players in their 30's who are still productive and they are why the Tigers come in at 4.6 RPG. Yet no matter how skilled these individual are, they cannot go on forever, which creates a sense of urgency for the franchise. It has to make manager Brad Ausmus very happy to be able to fill out batting order with Miguel Cabrera, Ian Kinsler, Victor Martinez and having J.D. Martinez back.


Betting Odds, History and Bullpen Numbers
The opening MLB odds posted at BetDSI have Detroit as -140 favorites with the total of 9 . The Tigers are 4-1 this season (thru Friday) against the Red Sox and are 11-6 against them since 2014, including 4-4 at Comerica Park. Recent games in the Motor City finds the OVER 5-1-2. As far as the bullpens, modest edge to BoSox who are 9th in the American League in ERA and Tigers are 13th.


Game Outcome
The fact is Verlander has really been a great groove and while Boston's offense is potent, this is a rather important ballgame for Detroit, who has 19 of their ace's Game 4 starts. Also, consider the Red Sox have lost seven of Rodriquez last 10 starts and enter this contest 3-8 versus opposing starter who WHIP of 1.15 or lower. For MLB picks, take the Tigers.

Free MLB Play - Detroit -135
Best Line Offered: at Bovada

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