Cleveland Indians v Detroit Tigers
When a star pitcher is at the top of his game he’s always worth a wager. That will be the case on Thursday when Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers play the Indians in Cleveland. In four starts this month, Verlander, who is the reigning American League Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award winner, has struck out 33 and allowed just 16 hits in 30 innings of work. Throughout his career, May has always been a great month for Verlander. He’s 24-8 with a 2.62 ERA lifetime. That’s the most wins and best ERA of any month for the right-hander. As for the Cleveland starter, Justin Masterson, he’s been extremely erratic in 2012. He had a couple of absolute failures giving up six or more runs in a contest. Moreover, Masterson has never fared well against the Tigers, posting an 0-4 record and a 5.14 ERA during his career. Bottom line: Detroit is the team to choose here at 1.57 rather than Cleveland at 2.40.
Miami Marlins v San Francisco Giants
There’s a great opportunity to pick up an under bet in Miami when the Marlins host the San Francisco Giants. The Marlins’ starter, Anibal Sanchez has consistently kept run scoring down. In all eight of his starts this season he’s all two earned runs or fewer. That should continue against a San Francisco Giants lineup that’s among the five worst in the National League. The Marlins have been only marginally better offensively and will be diminished with the team’s sparkplug (and the NL’s top base stealer) Emilio Bonifacio on the disabled list with a sprained left thumb. This should suit San Francisco pitcher Ryan Vogelsong well. He’s been consistent as of late, having allowed just three earned runs in 28 1/3 innings over his past four starts. All signs point to a pitcher’s duel and taking under 6.5 runs at 2.05 as the bet instead of the over at 1.77.