Pittsburgh Pirates at Detroit Tigers – MLB April 20

6:40 p.m. ET – Pittsburgh at Detroit (-125) O/U: 7.5

The 7-9 Pirates travel to Detroit for a three-game interleague series against the 6-10 Tigers on Tuesday night. Pittsburgh has strung together three series wins in a row, most recently taking two out of three from the Brewers with a 6-5 conquest in 10 innings on Sunday. Detroit was swept in a four-game series in Oakland last weekend, getting outscored 21-6 in the process while being shut out in two of the games.

Tuesday marks the first game in which the Tigers have been favored all season, as both these teams have been projected to finish near the bottom of the MLB in 2021.

About the Pirates

Pirates LogoThe Pirates have been better offensively than most were expecting after trading away Josh Bell to the Nationals in the offseason. They are averaging 7.9 hits per game, which ranks 10th in the big leagues. Two of the main reasons why have been left fielder Bryan Reynolds and second baseman Adam Frazier, who are both batting over the .300 mark.

A supposed bright spot for Pittsburgh heading into the season was third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes, a National League Rookie of the Year favorite. But Hayes injured his wrist in only his second game of the season, earning himself a spot on the 10-day Injured List. Third baseman Colin Moran has picked up the slack, leading the team with four home runs and 13 RBI while batting .298. The Pirates are not going to be in the playoff picture this year, but if they continue playing the way they have to start the season, there could be a bright future ahead.

About the Tigers

Detroit Tigers LogoDetroit has scored the fourth-fewest runs per game this season with 3.4 per game. To make matters worse, they allow the fifth highest amount of runs per game at 5.2. Bright spots have been hard to come by early this season, but veteran catcher Wilson Ramos has been one of them. Ramos has six home runs early on this season, tying him for American League lead.

22 year old Akil Baddoo came out of the gates strong with four home runs and 11 RBIs in his first 31 MLB at bats before going 0-for-11 in the Athletics series. Detroit will need him to get hot again if they want to win some games considering its pitching staff owns a 5.13 ERA, the highest in all of baseball.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Pittsburgh Pirates +1½ (-185) +105 O 7½ (-120)
Detroit Tigers -1½ (+155) -125 U 7½ (+100)

The Starting Pitching Matchup

  • Pittsburgh turns to left-hander Tyler Anderson to start the series off Tuesday night. Anderson has been middle of the road so far this season with a 4.02 ERA in 15.2 innings of work across three starts. This will be the worst lineup Anderson has faced this year, with two starts against the Cubs and one against the Padres.
  • The Tigers are giving the ball to right-hander Michael Fulmer to try and get back into the win column. Fulmer boasts a 1-0 record with a 3.00 ERA this season in 12 innings of work. Fulmer’s first three appearances of the year were out of the bullpen before going five innings as the starter last Wednesday and allowing only two runs in Houston to earn the win.
What’s the Bet?
The Tigers are returning home after a 10-game road trip, which can be devastating for a young team. Expect Detroit to play better in this series, but backing a team of its caliber as a favorite offers zero value. Both teams have faced solid pitching staffs to start the season, so the total of 7.5 is too low when you factor in the quality of pitching they will be facing in this one, which is to say there isn’t much.

The Tigers should be able to score some runs in the comfort of their own home. Meanwhile, the Pirates should have little issue getting to Fulmer with a ton of lefties in their lineup and Fulmer’s only start of the year coming against a depleted Astros lineup. Plus neither of these bullpens are very good. Take the Over on the Over/Under total of 7.5 runs between two really bad baseball teams that do not boast great pitching staffs.

The Bet
Over 7½

*Odds courtesy of MyBookie

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Joe Menzer / Author

Joe is an award-winning writer and editor who has covered the NBA, NFL, NASCAR, golf, various collegiate athletics and other sports for newspapers, Turner Sports, Fox Sports and ESPN. He has been on the beat for seven Super Bowls, six Daytona 500s and numerous NBA playoff series and All-Star Games. He once was dispatched to Rome, Italy to spend time with an NBA draft choice who opted to play overseas, after which he produced an award-winning series of stories. He also is passionate about fantasy sports and breaking down games in ways that even novice gamblers can use to make their most intelligent wagering decisions.

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