Vegas Odds & MLB Predictions: Detroit Tigers at Tampa Bay Rays (July 9th, 2018)
Detroit Heads to Tampa Bay to Start a Three-Game Series
The Detroit Tigers dropped the finale of their four-game series with Texas, getting shut out 3-0. As such they split the series and are still looking for their first series win since sweeping the White Sox June 15-17.
Since then, they lost 11 straight including the first two of last week’s four-game series with Toronto. They rebounded to win the final two games of that series before getting swept in a 2-game series with Boston last week.
All told, Detroit is 4-4 to start July after their disastrous end of June.
In that period they are averaging 4 RPG and their team ERA is 3.19. They are currently 40-52 which puts them in third place in the weakest division in baseball, the AL Central and 11.5 games out of first.
The Tampa Bay Rays have been playing a strong brand of baseball of late, with an 11-4 record in their last 15 games. That includes some impressive series wins such as a sweep of the Yankees, and Nationals and taking three of four from Houston. That 7-1 record all came at home. They just completed a six-game road trip with a 3-3 record. They dropped two of three to Miami before taking two of three from the Mets this weekend. That includes back-to-back shutouts and a 9-0 win in the finale.
During the streak they are averaging 4 RPG and allowing 1.27 RPG. They have pitched five shutouts during the streak and allowed one run on two other occasions.
Francisco Liriano (3-5, 4.03 ERA) is having a solid bounce back season after a couple of rough ones. Opponents are hitting just .213 off of him and he’s pitched two straight quality starts of at least six inning pitched and three earned runs allowed. The Tigers however lost both of those games and five in a row when he’s on the mound. They are just 2-8 in his last ten outings.
Chris Archer (3-4, 4.24 ERA) had a horrible start to his season with an ERA of 5.64 after nine starts. But he went on a run in four straight great ones, allowing a total of three runs in 23.2 innings of work. But he then landed on disabled list with an abdomen injury. This will be his first start since June 2nd and he is likely limited to a 75-pitch count.
Tampa Bay is -190 favorites and Detroit +165 underdogs. The Tigers are lucky to be facing Archer when he’s likely to be rusty. But I think the way the team is pitching overall of late they’ll find a way to pull one out here. The Pick: Rays 5-2.