Spencer Turnbull (1-0, 2.45 ERA) vs. Steven Brault (0-0, 7.20 ERA)
The Detroit Tigers will look for a sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday following a crazy 17-13 win on Friday night and easier 11-5 win yesterday. The Tigers and Pirates went back and forth in extra innings before the Tigers outlasted the Pirates in the 11th frame. The Tigers scored 4 runs in the top of the 11th after the Pirates erased a 3-run deficit in the 9th and then came back again in the 10th after going down by a run.
When the Tigers went up 17-13, it was almost like the Pirates returning the favor was expected. Fortunately for the Tigers, they were able to close out the Pirates and didn’t have to go to the 12th. The Tigers followed up for another win on Saturday to set up a sweep opportunity today at PNC Park. They sent 4 home runs over the fence before the Pirates recorded an out in the first inning.
The Tigers needed just 11 pitches from Derek Holland to hand him an early headache. Pittsburgh didn’t want to go to their bullpen too early, so left him out there to see if he could find a groove. That wasn’t the case, though, as Holland was rocked for 13 hits and 9 earned runs in 5 innings. The Tigers went through the same before, as Matthew Boyd was tagged for 8 hits and 7 earned runs in 4.2 innings.
Boyd was supposed to be the ace of this club, but is quickly losing his grip on that role. Ivan Nova wasn’t much better for the Tigers yesterday, though. Nova was allowed 6 hits and 5 earned runs in 5 innings. However, the offense and bullpen picked him up and the Tigers cruised for a 11-5 victory. Miggy was the leader at the plate, as he smashed the ball on 3-for-4 hitting and 3 RBI.
He might not be the same Triple Crown Miguel Cabrera, but is still a dangerous hitter. With Boyd struggling on the bump, Spencer Turnbull is on pace to be the ace of the Tigers. The reports from the offseason were tremendous on Turnbull, and he has been delivering thus far in 2020. Turnbull gets the call for the Tigers on Sunday. Steven Brault is expected to start in place of Joe Musgrove who is scratched because of an ankle problem. Head below for our free Detroit Tigers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates pick for August 9, 2020.
Detroit Tigers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates MLB Baseball Betting Odds:
Detroit Tigers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Prediction:
All of the news on Spencer Turnbull in the offseason was positive. He went on a strict eating plan and got into much better shape going into this season. Working on his delivery was apparently in the offseason plan as well. He arrived at camp looking like a totally different guy from last season. Turnbull posted an ERA of 4.61 and 1.44 WHIP in 2019 with the Tigers.
As a rookie, he recorded an ERA of 6.06 and 1.29 WHIP. Turnbull showed up to spring training looking to put that part of his career in the past. He was touching 95 mph on the gun in exhibition games, and ultimately finished with an ERA of 0.82 and 0.73 WHIP in four games across 11 innings of work.
It wasn’t a fluke because Turnbull has been doing the same in the regular season, too. Turnbull has an ERA of 2.45 and 1.00 WHIP in 11 innings. Both of his outings were against a fairly solid Reds team. He wasn’t picking on a bad offense or anything. Along with holding the Reds to 3 runs in 11 innings, Turnbull also struck out 14 batters.
His 95 mph fastball mixed in with a slider has been working wonders for him. He should be able to succeed against the 3-11 Pirates on Sunday. Pittsburgh is 19th in the majors with 4.2 runs scored per game. Conversely, surprisingly enough, the Tigers’ offense has been clicking with 5.5 runs per game, and on the road they’ve notched 7.6 runs per game.
On paper it might not look like the Tigers have depth in their lineup, but they’ve had multiple contributors in 2020 so far. Pirates’ starter, Steven Brault, has not been in good form this season. He owns an ERA of 7.20 and 1.80 WHIP in 5 innings. The Pirates might go with a bullpen game here, but it makes it difficult when the bullpen has been getting taxed over the last two days. I lean with the Tigers to complete the sweep behind the arm of Turnbull at PNC Park.