Chris has three MLB picks going below for Saturday’s games. If you are interested in premium MLB picks check out MLBPredictions.org. Also make sure you enter your name and email into the form on the left side of this site to get updates and free picks. Alright, lets get to Chris’ article…
Arizona Diamondbacks +160 @ Detroit Tigers -170 (Total: 7.5)
Joshua Collmentor (4-3, 2.09 ERA) vs. Justin Verlander (9-3, 2.54 ERA)
Justin Verlander has made a strong early season case for being the AL Starting Pitcher in the soon-approaching All-Star game. No-hitter aside, Verlander has been overpowering and dominant when at his best, sporting a microscopic WHIP of just 0.85. His personal record is 9-3, but on occasion the Tigers haven’t held up their end of the bargain, going just 10-6 in his 16 starts in 2011.
For Arizona, Joshua Collmentor isn’t a household name, but could be soon if he continues pitching the way he has early this season. I’m sure I’m not the only one who was taken a little aback glancing at tonight’s line and seeing Collmentor’s ERA nearly half a run lower than Verlander. Granted, it is a smaller sample size (just 60 innings), but Collmentor’s WHIP is right on par with Verlander’s at 0.86.
It has the makings of a nice pitcher’s duel tonight in Detroit.
Arizona has been excellent on the road of late, winning 16 of their last 21, and Detroit have been aces at home, going 9-4, and 10-4 in their last 14 games as the favorite. Both teams are playing well and have some statistics that you can bend in your favor if you like one or the other tonight; so let me give you the statistic I’m making MY bet on – recent starts by each pitcher.
Collmentor is just 0-2 in his last three starts, with his ERA ballooning to 4.24. That tells me one of two things; he is feeling a little fatigue or that hitters are starting to get a better read on the youngster. The secret is out, hitters have made the adjustment, and now it is back to Collmentor to so likewise.
For Verlander, the fact that Arizona hasn’t seen HIM before, simply plays to his strengths. Look for Verlander to use his dazzling array of explosive pitches to keep D-Back hitters of balance all night. I like Detroit to win easily tonight, and am willing to lay the run and a half to get Detroit at +120.
Minnesota Twins +140 @ Milwaukee Brewers -150 (Total: 7.5)
Francisco Liriano (4-6, 4.59 ERA) vs. Yovani Gallardo (8-4, 4.11 ERA)
The Twins are the hottest team in baseball right now; winners of 15 of 19 before being derailed last night in Milwaukee. Both teams send their Opening Day starters to the mound tonight, even though both starters may not quite be living up to their “#1 starter” billing thus far in 2011.
Gallardo’s numbers for the season are pretty solid, 8-4 and a WHIP of 1.42, but his last three starts have been pretty poor. He has lasted a total of just 14 innings, going 0-2 personally and his team going 0-3. His ERA has been in the high sixes and letting nearly two runners an inning reach base.
For Liriano, it has been the reverse story. His early season struggles seem to be disapating in accord with his team’s. Liriano is 1-1 in his last three starts, but his performance has been excellent, posting a 1.80 ERA, a sub-one WHIP and lasting a solid 20 innings.
Those divergent trends make me think the Twins are one heckuva value pick tonight at +140. You get a red-hot ballclub with a red-hot (and frontline talent caliber) starter facing a team with a big-name starter who has struggled of late. Gallardo’s name probably inflates the line a bit in the Brewers direction. So I’m heading the opposite direction with the Twins.