The Detroit Tigers will get the better of the Tampa Bay Rays at home on Thursday.
Tigers’ starter Max Scherzer comes into this game with an impressive 7-0 record. What’s notable here is that Scherzer has actually thrown a bit better against teams with winning records (3.34 ERA) than against clubs who have lost more than they’ve won (3.48).
Tampa Bay is a team with more wins than losses. Scherzer also has a solid track record against Rays hitters. They’ve batted a cumulative .243 lifetime and key batters Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist and Desmond Jennings are a combined 3 for 24 over their careers against the hard-throwing right-hander.
Rays pitcher Roberto Hernandez has been shaky on the road (1-3 win-loss record; 5.65 ERA) and has been least effective against top teams. His splits: 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA against clubs with losing records but a 1-4 record with a 6.75 ERA against winners.
Throw in the fact that Tigers hitters own a lifetime .290 batting average (with a .354 on-base percentage) against Hernandez and the pick here is clear: take Detroit at 1.49 to win.
The difficulty of pitching at Coors Field will be pivotal when the Colorado Rockies host the San Diego Padres.
San Diego pitcher Andrew Cashner has respectable overall numbers. So far this season he’s 4-3 with a 3.65. But those stats reflect Cashner’s ability to make the most out of throwing at his pitcher friendly home stadium, Petco Park.
When in San Diego, he’s 3-1 with a 2.76 ERA and when he’s taken the pitcher’s mound elsewhere he’s 1-2 with a 4.61 ERA.
While the sample size is small, no place has vexed Cashner more than Coors Field. In four lifetime appearances in Denver he has an 18.00, having conceded eight runs in just four innings of work. Not surprisingly, Rockies hitters own a .414 batting average against Cashner.
Rockies pitcher Jhoulys Chacin has had a few rough outings of his own at Coors this year, but he’s already proved he can successfully face down the Padres line up in Colorado’s thin air.
In an April 7 home game against San Diego, Chacin threw 6 2/3 innings giving up just six hits and one run. Look for a repeat performance and go with the Rockies, on at 1.66, to take this contest.
Best Bet: Back the Detroit Tigers to beat the Tampa Bay Rays
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