I have been dedicating most of my time to football lately, but with no NFL on the schedule tonight, I’ll switch my attention to the baseball diamond. Things are beginning to heat up all across the MLB landscape, with teams jockeying for a playoff spot and others trying to improve their seeding. The Detroit Tigers are one of those teams that are a virtual lock to make it into the postseason, but are interested in improving their playoff position for the sake of home field advantage. Their opponents tonight, the Chicago White Sox, have had a lackluster season, but have been known to play the spoiler role this season. Let’s look deeper into this matchup for Friday night.
Free MLB Pick
Chicago White Sox +256 at Detroit Tigers -283 (Total: 8)
Andre Rienzo (2-2, 5.04 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (19-3, 2.95)
Max Scherzer will take his magical season into Friday night, where the right-hander looks to notch his 20th win on the season. It’s been a fight for Scherzer to earn this 20th win, as he has had to take a few no decisions recently. Nevertheless, the Tigers still average more than 5 runs a game when Scherzer is pitching, thus, he has gotten spectacular run support in his efforts this season. While he’s gotten great run support, Scherzer’s pitching has been outstanding as well. Scherzer is one of the best in making opposing batters whiff with 227 in 2013. He has only lost once at home all season long, and will look to make it 12 runs at Comerica Park against a dismal offense. This will be his second start against the White Sox in three games. In the previous meeting he got hit a bit, allowing 4 runs and lasting only 4 innings in Chicago.
Scherzer’s counterpart, Andre Rienzo, is 17 wins short of his record. Without much consistency in his game, Rienzo also has a below average ERA of 5.04. Things haven’t been good for Rienzo recently either, as his 7.24 ERA is a cause for concern. Even more concerning than his ERA is his WHIP, where that was 1.90 in his previous three tilts. So, he is nearly putting an average of 2 runners on base an inning. Do that against the Tigers and they’ll make sure your ERA is more than 5.04 exiting Friday night.
The Tigers are looking to capture the AL Central title as soon as possible. They also are fighting with the Oakland Athletics for a higher seed in the playoffs. A battle that may decide home field advantage between these two if they happened to meet, which is very possible. I expect the Tigers to pound the White Sox Friday night in front of a sold out crowd in downtown Detroit. Scherzer should earn his 20th victory on the season, bounce back from his last start against them, and make the White Sox look forward to vacation time in a few weeks. The White Sox can be pesty, but not tonight, the Tigers roll and cover the RL.
Free Pick: Detroit Tigers -1.5