After playing two games without the designated hitter – Victor Martinez – to open this week in interleague play at Arizona, the Tigers will get the DH back on Thursday night as they open a four-game series at the LA Angels. The Tigers end a 2 games series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, taking the first game in the pocket. For the Angels, they currently are in a 3 games series against the Oakland Athletics, which also ends to day. That series is tied at 1-1. Detroit should be a road betting favorite.
Detroit at LA Angels Pro Baseball Betting Prediction & Pick
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) May 10, 2017
When: Thursday, May 11, 10:05 PM ET
Where: Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Probable pitchers (away/home): Michael Fulmer/JC Ramirez
TV: MLB Extra Innings
Radio: Detroit / Los Angeles
Opening MLB Lines: TBA
Why Bet On Detroit?
It won’t help the Tigers here, but star outfielder JD Martinez is expected to be activated from the DL on Friday. Martinez last played a game for the Tigers, March 18 at Lakeland, when he sprained his right foot and began a nearly two-month recovery.
“Yeah, I would say we’ll see him this week, assuming there’s no setback,” said Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. Who leaves the roster when Martinez returns is still an open question. Mikie Mahtook can play center field or a corner spot, and so can Jim Adduci, whose left-handed bat has been giving the Tigers some spark.
Ausmus has made a change at closer as well. Francisco Rodriguez was officially demoted to a lower-leverage role on Tuesday after blowing two saves over the weekend in Oakland. He has an awful 8.49 ERA and 2.06 WHIP over 13 total appearances this season. He has been replaced by lefty Justin Wilson.
He has registered a 1.32 ERA, 0.59 WHIP, and 22/4 K/BB ratio in 13 2/3 innings. Ausmus has been uber-protective with Wilson throughout the first month of the season, not overworking him like he was forced to do when Mark Lowe struggled last season, which resulted in a bum arm down the stretch.
It’s 2016 AL Rookie of the Year Michael Fulmer (3-1) on the mound. Fulmer went eight innings and picked up the win Friday against Oakland. He struck out nine and allowed two runs (one earned) on eight hits and two walks. Fulmer had his Thursday start against the Indians bumped back due to rain, and he took advantage of the easier matchup.
Fulmer is showing no signs of a sophomore slump, as he now has a 2.77 ERA and 1.05 WHIP through six starts. His K/9 is also up slightly, from 7.47 as a rookie to 8.08 so far in 2017.
Why Bet On LA Angels?
The Tigers might catch a huge break in avoiding Mike Trout. He missed his fourth straight game Tuesday with left hamstring discomfort. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said earlier that this week that the club has discussed placing Trout on the 10-day disabled list. An MRI alleviated any concerns that Trout or the Angels had about the severity of his left hamstring issue. He remains in day-to- day limbo.
Under the new rules, a DL assignment can only be backdated three days, so a player has to miss at least seven days once he’s placed on the DL. When he will return remains unclear, although Trout is optimistic that it could be any day. Scioscia indicated that Trout might need to go through a full workout on the field the day before he returns, although that’s not absolutely mandatory.
“It’s improved,” he said. “It’s going in the right direction. … I’m coming in each and every day and I want to play. They want to be cautious. It’s a hamstring. You don’t want to push it and be out longer.”
Trout has hits in 17 straight games, longest streak of his career (prev. 15 G in 2013). During the streak (April 17-current), he is batting .391 (25/64) with 16 runs, six doubles, one triple, five home runs and 11 RBI. Trout currently sits at 176 career home runs and 148 stolen bases. He needs two more steals to join Alex Rodriguez as only players to amass 150 stolen bases and 175 home runs prior to their age-26 season. Trout was named AL POM for April. It marked his fourth such award, already matching Chuck Finley for most monthly awards in Angels history.
It’s lefty JC Ramirez (3-2, 3.74) on the mound here. Ramirez tossed six innings of one-run ball Saturday, walking two and striking out a pair in a 2-1 win over Houston. The 28-year- old continues to be a pleasant surprise for an injury-plagued Angels rotation. The strikeouts were uncharacteristically low Saturday, but Ramirez still boasts a healthy 9.4 K/9 on the year.
Before the Angels started using him as a starter, Ramirez’s appearances all came as a reliever. In his 111 games as a reliever, Ramirez posted a 5.14 ERA. In his first three appearances, this season out of relief, he allowed three earned runs in five innings of work. His fourth appearance came as a starter.
Detroit at LA Angels Pro Baseball Betting Pick: Detroit Tigers
Fulmer is one of the best young pitchers in the American League.