Detroit Tigers +116 @ Toronto Blue Jays -123 (Total: 7.5)
Max Scherzer (5-0, 3.15 ERA) v. Brandon Morrow (1-1, 3.06 ERA)
It’s not every day you can get a pitcher with a perfect record and an ERA hovering right around 3.00 AND get plus-odds to do it. However, that is what is sitting on the table if you choose to wager on Max Scherzer and the Tigers at Toronto (+116). It can certainly be tempting, but you have to question why the line is so fat before wagering…
Perhaps it is because Brandon Morrow doesn’t have the wins to show it, but has actually pitched every bit as well as the 5-0 Scherzer. Add in the fact that the Jays are 7-1 in Morrow’s last eight home starts, and the line begins to look a little more justified. And if you like odd stats, here’s one for you; the Tigers are a dismal 17-49 in their last 66 games on Astroturf. Weird yes, but perhaps also useful.
Assuming both pitchers give their ball clubs solid outings, and the numbers indicate it is likely, then the game should come down to the bullpens. Detroit’s has been less than great, with a staff ERA in the high fours. Toronto’s on the other hand, has been lights out with a combined ERA of 2.46 and a WHIP of just 1.02.
I like Toronto at home – perhaps not giving Scherzer his first loss (I predict a ND), but pinning a loss on the Tigers’ pen at home.
PICK: Toronto Blue Jays to WIN (-123)
San Diego Padres +130 @ Milwaukee Brewers -140 (Total: 7.5)
Matt Latos (0-4, 4.55 ERA) vs. Zach Greinke (0-1, 9.00 ERA)
This shapes up on paper to be the battle of who can play worse. The Padres are 1-9 in Matt Latos’s last ten starts, while the Brewers are 1-7 in their last eight games overall. Neither is a real pretty number for sure.
However, despite Latos’s poor numbers, he hasn’t pitched badly in his last three starts, with an ERA of 3.58. Greinke was supposed to be the marquee addition that pushed the Brewers to the top of the NL Central. The Brewers could already hit, but haven’t had that stud pitcher at the front of the rotation since they lost C.C. Sabathia to free agency two seasons ago. Due to an injury in Spring Training, Greinke will make just his second start of the season, after giving up four runs in as many innings in his Brewer debut.
It is entirely plausible to see either team taking advantage of the pitching matchup in hitter-friendly Miller Park, which is why my advice is to pick neither team; rather let tonight’s wager ride on the absurdly-low run line of just 7.5. I checked three sports books to make sure this line was right, because a quick glance of the pitching matchups had “9” written all over it – however, 7.5 it is. Snap it up and be grateful.
At 7.5, there’s a decent chance you can be asleep a happy winner by the third or fourth inning!
PICK: Run TOTAL OVER 7.5 (-105)