The Tampa Bay Rays and Detroit Tigers do it all over again on Saturday afternoon for the second meeting of their weekend series. The Tigers pummeled the Rays yesterday for a 13-4 final, as their offense put on a display against the Rays. They have a habit of erupting for big outings like that, and then they can just as easily fall into a coma.
Last night they were alive and well, with everybody getting into the act. Nick Castellanos led the way with 4 RBIs, including a triple and double. Ian Kinsler and Alex Avila both went deep. By the end of the 5th inning, the Tigers already had 11 runs on the board.
Daniel Norris never had to worry about run support. Michael Fulmer will hope he gets the same help this afternoon at Comerica. Fulmer hasn’t been providing his best work lately, so he if he puts forth a similar effort this afternoon the Tigers will have to ring the scoreboard up again. With the win yesterday, the Tigers jump to 32-34, which is not for a team with this kind of talent on it. I’ve said it before, the Tigers are underperformers who should be doing much more with their payroll.
The offense could be doing better, but what’s really doing them in is their abysmal pitching. There was a time in previous years when it was just the bullpen to worry about, but as the starting pitching progressively gets worse, there is a sense of hopelessness in Detroit.
Fulmer has not been pitching well at all lately, a guy who the Tigers will need to play lights out if they want to reach the postseason. We’ll see if he can bounce back today, as Chris Archer gets the nod for the Rays. Get our free MLB betting pick below.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Detroit Tigers Pick
Chris Archer (4-4, 3.80 ERA) vs. Michael Fulmer (6-4, 3.40 ERA)
The Tigers will be looking for their third win in a row over the Rays, after beating them Thursday and last night. They really need to stack together a nice winning streak, as they’ve been largely stuck in mud of late. Despite the two wins, they’re 3-5 in their last eight games, and under the .500 mark. Fulmer has been lit up in his last two showings, allowing 5 runs in each. It’s been his only rough patch of the season, but thanks to a hot start out of the gates, he owns a quality ERA of 3.40. He has one start against the Rays this season, on April 18th. Fulmer allowed 3 runs across 6 innings of work. The only games he’s allowed more than 3 runs has come in his last two outings.
The Tigers have scored 33 runs across their last five games, as they are in one of their hot phases with the bat. Archer has been off and on this season. While people have been waiting for him to emerge as a Cy Young candidate, he hasn’t been able to get over the hump.
He posted a 4.02 ERA last season, his worst since becoming a full-time starter, and is flirting with the same numbers in 2017. On the road, Archer holds a 4.35 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. Cabrera has been having fun at Archer’s expense, as he has a batting average of .400 against him. Jose Iglesias too, with a .444 BA. I like Fulmer to come out on Saturday afternoon and make people forget about his last two starts. I like the Tigers for our free MLB betting pick on Saturday.
PICK: TIGERS (-105)