It wasn’t a good day for me yesterday, as I dropped a pair of underdog picks. I deign to wager against Justin Verlander, and of course, he pitched like vintage Justin Verlander and throws seven scoreless innings against a good Toronto lineup. Hindsight is 20/20 of course, so it’s easy to say it is a terrible pick, but I’d still keep an eye on Verlander’s next few starts. The lines are a little inflated because of the potential of an outing like last nights, but he is still a pitcher with a near 4.00 ERA in 2013.
Let’s try to rebound tonight and kick off some very good weekend series in MLB with a few wins.
Today’s Free Picks:
Detroit Tigers +127 at Cleveland Indians -137 (Total: 8.5)
Ricky Porcello (4-6, 5.21 ERA) vs. Justin Masterson (10-6, 3.48)
If you need any more proof that Terry Francona is an outstanding manager, this weekend series between the Indians and the defending AL-champs is for the first place lead in the division one week before the All-Star Game. Sure, the Indians made a few offseason moves in addition to Francona; signing Swisher and Michael Bourne, and trading for Drew Stubbs, but it is hard to say any move has had more impact this season than the addition of Francona on the bench.
Tonight they send their ace, Justin Masterson, to the mound to try and tame the ferocious Tiger lineup. Masterson has been pretty consistent all season. His last three starts are right in line with his season averages, he is 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP in his last three outings (1.18 WHIP for the season). He pitched well in his last meeting with Detroit, but the Indians still lost 4-1. In fact, they have lost five in a row to the Tigers and six of eight overall in 2013.
Masterson is good, but I am not willing to put him in the shutdown-ace category. Yet they are a huge favorite at home tonight at -137. Porcello has been the weak link in the Tiger rotation, but I think there is some good value with Detroit tonight. They scored 24 runs in three games this weekend against Toronto and their bats appear to be warming up this summer. Detroit is hitting a league-leading .280 as a team and has scored the second most runs, trailing only Boston. I like them to get to Masterson and to give Porcello a chance to get a win. I like the value of Detroit as an underdog, but also like some runs crossing the dish tonight.
Free Picks: Detroit Tigers to WIN +127 & Run TOTAL OVER 8.5