Wednesday MLB Betting Analysis & Expert Pick on Tampa Bay at Detroit

Posted by Kenny Bell on Wednesday,June 14, 2017 9:50, EDT in

The Tampa Bay Rays make their only visit of the 2017 season to Detroit starting Thursday night in Game 1 of a four-game series. Tampa isn’t a great road team but might be facing a minor-league callup or a bullpen-by-committee on Thursday. The Rays are currently in a 2 game series against the Toronto Blue Jays, which ends tonight. The Tigers are also in a 2 game series which ends tonight., as they take on the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Tigers still should be a slight MLB odds favorite.

Wednesday MLB Betting Analysis & Expert Pick on Tampa Bay at Detroit

When: Thursday, June 15, 7:10 PM ET
Where: Comerica Park, Detroit
Probable pitchers (away/home): Alex Cobb/TBA
TV: MLB Extra Innings
Stream: MLB.tv
RadioTampa Bay / Detroit
Opening MLB Lines: Tigers favored by TBA

Why Bet On Tampa Bay?

The Rays have had some bad luck of late, losing center fielder Kevin Kiermaier, one of the best defenders in the majors, for two months to a hip injury as well as solid starting pitcher Matt Andriese perhaps until August with a hip injury of his own. Andriese, 27, was sporting a promising 3.54 ERA and 55/21 K/BB ratio through 61 innings (12 starts) this season with the Rays. Jacob Faria took his spot in the rotation Tuesday in Toronto. Mallex Smith has taken over in center for Kiermaier.

Outfielder Corey Dickerson gained ground in his bid to turn strong first half into a starting spot in the 2017 All-Star Game. In the latest MLB All-Star Game Ballot update, released on Tuesday, the Rays slugger moved up from fourth to third in voting for American League DH. Ahead of Dickerson in the voting to start the Midsummer Classic are Nelson Cruz of the Mariners with 863,549 votes and Matt Holliday of the Yankees (689,918). Dickerson has 668,702 votes, just ahead of Edwin Encarnacion of the Indians (605,454). Dickerson is having an All-Star season. Heading into Tuesday night’s action, Dickerson was hitting .328 with 14 home runs, 31 RBIs and a .959 OPS. He has 40 two-strikes this season, tying him  with Xander Bogaerts for the major-league high in that category.

The Rays start Alex Cobb (5-5, 4.29). He won after allowing a run on four hits and a walk with five strikeouts in six innings Friday against the A’s. Cobb is feeling stronger about his changeup, his go-to pitch before losing feel for it early this year.

Cobb rebounded nicely from a 14-hit, nine-run clunker in Seattle on June 3 and held his opponent to three earned runs or fewer for the seventh time in his past nine starts. Cobb was originally scheduled to start Wednesday’s contest against the Blue Jays, but he’ll have his start pushed back a day in order to accommodate the arrival of Faria.

Wednesday MLB Betting Analysis & Expert Pick on Tampa Bay at Detroit

Why Bet On Detroit?

The Tigers are looking for payback after being swept at Tampa Bay earlier this season. The Tigers were outscored 21-9 in series and allowed several catchable balls to fall for hits. “I’ll be honest with you, this is the worst defensive series I’ve seen the Detroit Tigers play since I’ve been here,” manager Brad Ausmus said then.

Entering Tuesday, Justin Upton and Nick Castellanos both had a 10-game hitting streak. Upton is batting.410 (16×39) with a 1.260 OPS, four doubles, four home runs and 17 RBI during his streak, while Castellanos is hitting.333 with a 1.153 OPS, four doubles, four home runs and eight RBI in his. Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera is currently sitting on 1,581 RBI in his Major League career, one shy of tying Mr. Tiger, Al Kaline, for 36th in MLB history. He has only three more to go to jump into 35th place.

This was to be Jordan Zimmermann’s start. However, he was moved to Wednesday vs. the Diamondbacks. Michael Fulmer was originally tabbed as Wednesday’s starter, but for unknown reasons, Zimmermann will move up a day to fill in for the defending Rookie of the Year. Fulmer’s start might be simply skipped or he’s just getting an extra day to rest after he was roughed up for five runs in 4.1 innings in his previous start vs. the Angels.

So it could be Fulmer (6-4, 3.40) here. Fulmer had a 2.65 ERA through two months, but he’s opened June with a pair of subpar outings against poor offenses (he gave up five runs in seven innings versus the White Sox before the Angels start).

Asked about saying he felt he may have tipped his pitches, Fulmer said “I’ve never been hit that hard collectively together like that. So I don’t know.”

While Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said he wasn’t concerned about Fulmer’s outing, it’s the second straight game Fulmer has allowed five runs. Fulmer also has allowed 43 hits over his last 33 1/3 innings. Before these last two starts, Fulmer started the season with 10 consecutive quality starts, a run that tied Justin Verlander for the franchise’s longest stretch to begin a season since 1913.

It also could be Justin Verlander (4-4, 4.68). Verlander allowed three runs on five hits and four walks while striking out three batters over five innings against the Red Sox on Saturday. He did not factor into the decision in the Tigers’ 11-3 loss. A groin issue cut Verlander’s last outing short, and while he was cleared to return Saturday, it was more of the same from the veteran right-hander. He labored through a 39-pitch third inning and was chased after five as he was unable to put hitters away.

“It seems to be the general theme this year,” Verlander said. “I need to find a way to get guys to swing and miss or put it in play weakly. Fouling balls off right now, it’s killing me. It’s extending at-bats. Guys are finding a way to have 10-pitch at-bats, and then if they happen to get on, they’re spoiling really good pitches.

Tampa Bay at Detroit MLB Betting Pick: Detroit Tigers

Wait until Detroit names its starting pitcher. I would lean Tigers unless it’s some minor-league scrub. The Rays are below .500 on the road and the Tigers above at home.