Tigers v Yankees
History favors Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers when the New York Yankees come to town on Sunday. Verlander has lost two straight for the first time since last April. Clearly, that’s a rare occurrence, but it would be even more surprising for him to lose a third consecutive time. It’s been four years since that last happened. Despite the losses, Verlander’s overall numbers continue to be good (5-3, 2.55 ERA). His quest for a win should be helped by his pitching opponent, Phil Hughes. The right-hander is coming off a performance in which he allowed seven runs and 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings pitched. Moreover, his overall numbers against the Tigers haven’t been too good (4-3 with a 4.54 ERA). Bottom line: it’s hard to buy an on-form Verlander will drop another one. Take the Tigers at 1.52 instead of the Yankees at 2.55.
White Sox v Mariners
It’s woe for the Seattle Mariners. The reason: they have to face the Chicago White Sox’s Chris Sale. On a good day Seattle’s lineup struggles to score runs (coming into the weekend they were ranked tenth out of fourteen American League teams in run production). Do remember the Mariners are the team that took the loss when Chicago’s Philip Humber threw a perfect game earlier this year. Well, Sale is a much better pitcher than Humber and he also happens to currently be red-hot. In his last outing he struck out 15 in 7 1/3 innings against a more potent Tampa Bay Rays offence. Don’t get me wrong, the Mariners’ starter Kevin Milwood has been excellent this year – especially on the road where he’s 2-2 with 1.79 ERA, but the White Sox possess the better offence and the Sale should overpower the Seattle hitters. Go with Chicago at 1.52 as Sale rightly makes the Mariners a long shot at 2.55.