San Diego Padres @ Detroit Tigers
Our in-house MLB expert, Billy J (-0.81 units), gives his best bet for today!
Another weekday and another Tigers day game. Imagine if the Tigers were a juggernaut and you lived on the West Coast. In most cases it feels like your favorite team would be done playing by the time you finished lunch. Well, there is no juggernaut in sight for these Tigers. Not just yet at least. As we approach the MLB trade deadline on August 2nd at 6 p.m. ET, there are a few names on the Tigers roster that can be moved.
Of the names the Tigers may have on the trading block, it could potentially be today’s starter in Tarik Skubal (7-8, 3.88 ERA). Skubal’s name is floating around for those teams in the playoff race who are looking for another starter in the rotation or to add another left-hander to the mix. The asking price will certainly be high as the deadline approaches and the once coveted top Tigers prospect can bring in some more prospects in return to continue the full rebuild.
Facing off against Skubal on the hill will be Padres reliable right-hander Yu Darvish (9-4, 3.28 ERA). Darvish is coming off a stellar road start against the Mets in which he went seven innings and only gave up four hits, one earned run and striking out nine. It was one of his better road starts of the year. Darvish has struggled away from Petco Park this season and has a few clunkers on the road this year. Most notably early in the year when he gave up nine earned runs to the Giants and a couple of five earned run starts at the Braves and Cardinals. Those three starts highly contributed to the 4.75 road ERA.
As the season has progressed, Darvish has started to get into a rhythm and that includes better performances on the road. The combined road stat line in his last three road starts include a 2-1 record with 21 innings pitched, seven earned runs and 26 punchouts. For the month of July alone, Darvish has been in wiffleball mode with his wide array of pitches and has 34 strikeouts in four July starts. His season WHIP now stands at 0.97, which is now eighth best in the majors.
This will be the rubber match of the three-game set here in Comerica Park. The Tigers took the first game of the series in convincing fashion with a 12-4 win. The Padres evened it up in the series last night with an extra innings 6-4 win by scoring three runs in the tenth inning. This series clearly means more to the Padres than it does to the Tigers. In last night’s game, the Tigers kept their all-star closer Gregory Soto in for 1 2/3 innings so most likely he is out for today’s game. This could also potentially be Skubal’s last game as a Tiger. What that means we do not know. It can’t be easy for Skubal to know that at any point he can be packing his bags and moving to a new team.
The opening line started with the Padres at -130. It is starting to creep up, but you can still grab it at this time at -130 on Caesars SportsBook and that’s what I’ll do here. Darvish has been a roller coaster on the road with flashes of brilliance mixed in with some early exits. But we have a prime matchup here for Darvish as he has been racking up the punchouts in July. The Tigers are also near the bottom when it comes to team batting average so trying to string together some baserunners and some runs against Darvish will be a tall task. That, and some uncertainty around Skubal and where he may pitch next, I’m rolling with the Padres to win this game and series.
The Pick: Padres -130 on Caesars SportsBook for 1 Unit
Quick Hitter Parlay:
Washington Nationals @ Los Angeles Dodgers
Houston Astros @ Oakland Athletics
It’s been an interesting week for some of the elite teams in baseball. We have the Astros and Dodgers on the verge of getting swept by two of the worst teams record wise in baseball in the Athletics and Nationals. It was well publicized earlier in the year when the Dodgers inexplicably got swept at home by the Pirates. That can’t happen again, can it? I’m not banking on it nor am I banking on the Astros to get swept either. However, the Astros have had their hands full with A’s starter Cole Irvin this season. Irvin is 1-1 vs the Astros this season with a 2.04 ERA and in his three starts has somehow managed to not get damaged by the long ball.
In the event the Astros can’t avoid a sweep against their last place division rivals, I do like this game to be low scoring. The reason being Irvin’s somewhat surprising splits versus the Astros so far this season and the consistent pitching from today’s Astros starter Cristian Javier. And also because the money line is a bit too pricey and I’m going to pair this with the Dodgers money line, which is beyond priced out.
The Play: Dodgers ML (-305) & Astros/A’s Under 7 (-103) .5 Units +163 on BetRivers