Tigers at Rangers Picks and MLB Betting Odds
by Dave Schwab - 5/16/2013
The Detroit Tigers and the Texas Rangers will get an early jump on their four-game weekend series with Game 1 scheduled for this Thursday night at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The first pitch in this American League showdown is set for 8:05 p.m. (ET), and the game will be broadcast nationally on the MLB Network.
The Tigers will wrap up a three-game series against Houston on Wednesday afternoon after taking the first two games as favorites at home. They are now 6-4 in their last 10 games and holding a 1.5-game lead over Cleveland in the AL Central. The total has gone “over” in six of their last nine games.
Texas returns home after going 5-3 in the first eight games on an extended nine-game road trip that closes out this Wednesday at Oakland. It leads the A’s by six full games in the AL West with a record of 25-14. The total has gone over in five of those eight road games.
Tigers at Rangers Betting Storylines
Detroit has brought the complete package so far this season with the No.1-ranked team ERA in the American League at 3.38 complementing the best hitting lineup in AL that boasts a .284 team batting average. The Tigers have been able to turn all this production into 22-15 record in their first 37 games. They are averaging 5.43 runs a game behind Miguel Cabrera (41 RBI and eight home runs) and Prince Fielder (33 RBI and nine home runs). All told, there are nine players with at least 11 RBI this season.
The Tigers will go with their ace Justin Verlander for this series opener, and he has once again earned the billing with a 1.93 ERA. This has not always translated to wins with a 4-3 record in his first eight starts, but the right-hander has gone at least seven innings in five of the games, and he has given up more than two earned runs only twice. Lifetime against the Rangers, he is 7-2 with a 2.02 ERA.
The Rangers have also been lighting it up in every phase of the game with a 3.48 team ERA that is ranked fourth in the AL and a .267 team batting average that is ranked second in the league. This is another deep lineup that has been knocking the ball all over the park with an average of 4.54 runs a game. Texas leads the AL in home runs with 52, and it has eight different players with at least 11 RBI on the year. The trio of Nelson Cruz, Adrian Beltre and Ian Kinsler have accounted for 73 RBI and 25 of the home runs.
Texas will counter with Yu Darvish as its starter on Thursday night to set up a much-anticipated showdown on the mound. The right-hander is off to a 6-1 start in his first eight outings and brings a four-game winning streak into this game despite getting tagged for 10 earned runs in the last three starts. Overall, Darvish has a 2.73 ERA and a WHIP of 0.91. In his short career in the Majors, he is a perfect 3-0 against Detroit with a 3.60 ERA.
Tigers at Rangers MLB Betting Odds and Trends
The Tigers are 6-0 in their last six games against the AL West and 6-2 in Verlander’s last eight starts on the road. The total has gone over in Game 1 of seven of their last nine series.
The Rangers are 4-0 in Darvish’s last four starts in the first game of a new series and 7-2 in his last nine starts against a team with a winning record. The total has stayed under in their last five home games.
This will be the first meeting between the two this season, with Detroit going just 2-8 in its last 10 games in Texas. The total has stayed under in four of Verlander’s last five starts against the Rangers.
Tigers at Rangers Picks and Betting Predictions
This should be an excellent test for a pair of lineups that have had their way with most of the starting pitchers they have faced this season. In the end, I am giving the slight edge to the Tigers to grab the early lead in this series behind another strong effort by Verlander against a team he has always pitched well against.
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