A low scoring contest is all set when the Detroit Tigers face the Rangers in Texas on Thursday. Looking at the starting pitching, this is a no-brainer.
Tigers’ pitcher Justin Verlander brings a 1.93 ERA to the table and the Rangers’ Yu Darvish sports a 2.73 ERA and a American League-leading 80 strikeouts.
Both pitchers have done reasonably well against players from the opposing clubs (Texas batters have hit just .222 against Verlander; Darvish has held Detroit hitters to a .254 batting average). But beyond the starters, this game should finish with few runs on the board because both bullpens have done their part.
The Rangers lead the AL in fewest runs given up by relief pitchers per game and the Tigers are third in the circuit. The combination of excellent starters and robust relief corps means taking under 7.5 runs at 1.91 is the way to go.
The law of averages is on the Washington Nationals’ side when they visit the San Diego Padres.
Nationals’ pitcher Stephen Strasburg has pitched very well this season. He has a 3.10 ERA and has only yielded more than three runs in a start twice in eight outings – that’s fewer times than the number of performances in which he’s given up zero earned runs (which he’s done three times).
Despite that, he’s been saddled with a 1-5 record thanks to defensive miscues and lack of offensive support. With a team as good at Washington, this appears to be an anomaly in the club’s play and shouldn’t continue.
In addition, Strasburg should be particularly motivated for this match up. He was born in San Diego and played his college baseball there. This is his first career opportunity to pitch at Petco Park. In other words, he’ll be locked in.
Padres starter Edinson Volquez has pitched better at home than on the road, but I believe this will be the Strasburg show. Go with the Nationals at 1.65.
Best Bet: Back under 7.5 runs between the Texas Rangers and the Detroit Tigers
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