Royals vs. Tigers MLB Pick – September 15, 2020

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Our white-hot MLB season continued last night as I went 2-0 with my picks and netted a two-unit profit in the process.

Our first winner came between the Pirates and Reds in the late afternoon/early evening (Eastern Time) matchup, but boy did we catch a break here. I had the Reds -1.5 on the run line, but they led 1-0 heading into the top of the seventh (final inning in a double-header this season). That means I needed the Pirates to tie it and have the Reds scored two to win it, and that’s exactly what happened.

A blown save by Raisel Iglesias turned into a win as a two-out single was followed up with a pinch-hit, two-run, walk-off homer from rookie Tyler Stephenson. I’ll admit when we catch a break and boy did we catch one here in a pick that netted us a unit’s profit at -114.

The second win was also close. I had the under 8.5 between the Phillies and Marlins, and it went to the wire. The two teams scattered runs throughout the game – mostly the Marlins – and it was a 6-2 Marlins lead going into the ninth with three outs required. Fortunately, we got those three outs and the 6-2 score was a final as we slipped under the 8.5-run total at -111 odds.

Let’s stay hot on tonight’s jam-packed 15-game schedule!

Season Record: 20-9-1

Units: +10.23

Now let’s check out this free MLB pick featuring the Royals vs. Tigers from Comerica Park in Detroit!

Royals vs. Tigers Betting Odds

  • Royals (+106)
  • Tigers (-116)
  • Royals +1.5 (-195)
  • Tigers -1.5 (+170)
  • Over 9 (-115)
  • Under 9 (-105)

*Odds have been removed online due to a starting pitching change by the Royals. The moneyline odds I have listed were from earlier today before the scratched starter.

Royals vs. Tigers MLB Pick Breakdown

Starting Pitching

Royals

Well, this section might as well be blank.

Left-hander Danny Duffy was schedule to start this one, but he missed the team’s flight to Detroit. Duffy is reportedly now with the team after taking a later flight, but has been scratched from the start as a disciplinary measure.

The Royals have yet to announce a starter for this one as a result, but it’s probably safe to say the Royals will be using a bullpen game for this one unless they move their rotation up a day after a day of yesterday and a day off coming on Thursday.

At this point, we just don’t know.

Tigers

The Tigers will send left-hander Matthew Boyd to the bump for this one coming off a disastrous outing against the Brewers.

Boyd was rocked for seven earned runs in just three innings his last time out. Just when it seemed like he had things turned around after a trio of solid outings, Boyd regressed in a big way against the Crew.

Among pitchers with at least 40 innings pitched this season, Boyd’s 7.63 ERA is the second-worst in all of baseball. He’s still striking out plenty in the form of a 10.10 K/9 and his walk rate isn’t egregious at 3.09 BB/9, but the home run ball has been killing him as he owns a massive 2.68 HR/9 on the season, a league-worst figure among the group with at least 40 innings pitched on the season.

Boyd has also had his struggles with this Royals team.

In his career versus the Royals, Boyd owns a bloated 6.49 ERA, and that’s in a large sample of 20 starts and 97 innings against his division rival. Current Royals hitters have combined to hit .349 with a .969 OPS, .413 wOBA and .241 ISO off Boyd, so this matchup doesn’t appear particularly appealing for Boyd and the Tigers.

Offense

Royals

The Royals don’t exactly tear the cover off the baseball, but they’ve been a quality offense against left-handed pitching and are hot at the moment.

Against left-handers, the Royals rank 13th with a .329 wOBA on the season while they can mitigate Boyd’s strikeout stuff with a quality 21.4% team K-rate versus southpaws.

The Royals stomped the lowly Pirates by a 11-0 count on Sunday, capping off a three-game sweep in which they scored 22 total runs, good for north of seven runs per game. It was also the second time in four games they scored 11 runs after hanging 11 on the Indians to cap a sweep of the Tribe last Thursday. The Royals have won six in a row entering this one and scored 22 runs in each of their three-game sweeps, good for 7.33 runs per game over that streak.

Look for Whit Merrifield to continue to terrorize Boyd and the Tigers tonight. In his career against Boyd, Merrifield has posted eye-popping numbers in the form of 22 for 42 (.524) with eight doubles and a triple, good for a .238 ISO, 1.317 OPS and .564 wOBA against the lefty. In his career against the Tigers, Merrifield owns a .988 OPS across 313 plate appearance and also owns a 1.017 OPS in 167 trips to the plate at Comerica Park.

Tigers

The Tigers have mostly surprised offensively this year, but Duffy being scratched might hurt them in this one.

That’s because they are far better against lefties than righties. The Tigers are tied for third with a .373 wOBA on the season against lefties, but plummet all the way to 27th with a weak .292 wOBA against righties.

If it’s a bullpen game, they could of course see both sides, but they are certainly going to see more right-handed pitchers with the lefty Duffy being scratched, a bad omen for this Tigers offense.

It’s an offense that’s also slumping heading into this one. They were swept by the White Sox over the weekend and scored just five runs across those three games. Add in their previous three games and they have averaged just 2.2 runs per game over their last six.

While information has been scarce, Jonathan Schoop is listed as questionable for this one tonight. If he misses tonight’s game, it’s a big blog to the Tigers’ offensive outlook as he’s been one of their top two bats this season and leads the team with eight home runs and ranks second with a 1.3 fWAR.

Bullpen

Royals

The Royals have seen some players emerge as shutdown bullpen arms this season as it’s been a reliable cast of characters here in 2020.

The Royals enter this one ranked 10th with a 4.05 bullpen ERA on the season, although they have outpitched their peripherals and rank 19th with a 0.6 fWAR from that group this season.

Nonetheless, it’s a group that’s going to be leaned on heavily in all likelihood today.

They’ve seen former closer Greg Holland return and post a stout 2.13 ERA/2.69 FIP in a bullpen-high 25.1 innings this season while Josh Staumont has displayed some elite stuff while working to a 1.80 ERA/3.85 FIP and a massive 14.40 K/9 across his 20 innings of work.

Kyle Zimmer, Scott Barlow, and Jesse Hahn have also delivered excellent results while Hahn and Zimmer own ERAs of 1.00 or less while combining to pitch 28.1 innings.

It appears as if a bullpen day isn’t the worst thing for this Royals team tonight.

Tigers

After a disastrous 2019 season from their bullpen, it was an area that surprised to the upside earlier in the season. Of late, however, this bullpen has been lit up.

Over the last two weeks, the Tigers’ bullpen ranks 28th with an 8.03 ERA. Somehow that’s not the worst mark in baseball. As a result, they now sit 26th with a 5.38 bullpen ERA on the season.

Command hasn’t been an issue, but it’s a group that doesn’t post many strikeouts with a 27th-ranked 8.10 K/9 while they have also struggled with the long ball in the form of a 1.65 HR/9, good for 28th league wide.

It was largely a cast of unknowns that produced quality results through the month of August, but the Tigers have seen results far more akin to their 2019 season of late.

Royals vs. Tigers MLB Pick

Even when Duffy was listed as the starter for this one, I liked the Royals. Their bullpen is far better than Detroit’s and they have teed off on Boyd in the past, as have many teams here in 2020.

Now that the Tigers don’t face a lefty, I see their offensive outlook shrink. They don’t hit righties well, they could be without a top-two offensive player in Schoop and they are ice cold at the plate entering this one.

The Royals’ offense, however, is red-hot entering this mini two-game set and they have fared well against lefties this season.

To me, there are just too many signs pointing against the Tigers in this one, so I will simply hit the Royals on the moneyline tonight.

The Bet
ROYALS
-103
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Brenton Kemp / Author

Brenton is a lifelong sports fan who resides in Ontario, Canada. Brenton is a fan of most all sports but specializes in hockey, baseball, football, basketball, and golf. He’s a fierce researcher with a strong appetite to deliver accurate and relevant facts that in turn have led to past success with picks and DFS advice across the board. Brenton’s biggest goal is to deliver readers with the picks and advice that can build their bankroll. He takes great pride in his success and loves nothing more than to share that success for the benefit of everyone involved.