The Detroit Tigers host their rivals, the Cleveland Guardians, in a four-game series that runs Thursday-Sunday in the Motor City. The home team will most likely be underdogs in three games, which gives bettors an opportunity to place a plus-money wager if they believe Detroit can take a game or two.
Thus far, the Tigers’ season has been like a deflated birthday balloon: sad and not going anywhere. But last season manager A.J. Hinch coaxed effort out of his team after a sluggish start and led it to a winning record in June, July, and September. But you know what they say about catching lightning in a bottle twice: no zappin’ chance.
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This season, Cleveland (18-22) has split two games with Detroit (15-28). The team is floating near .500 behind an opportunistic offense and just-good-enough pitching. It’s a markedly better team than Detroit, and the Guardians have even taken four of five from division-favorite Chicago. A playoff spot isn’t far-fetched, but unlikely.
Here are some wagering opportunities for this weekend’s series from the top Michigan sports betting apps.
Tigers Vs. Guardians Odds For Weekend Series
|Sportsbook||Series Odds||Thursday Moneyline||Thursday Total|
|Over 7 (-115)
Under 7 (-105)
|Over 7 (-120)
Under 7 (+100)
|Over 7 (-115)
Under 7 (-105)
|Over 7 (-120)
Under 7 (-102)
- The moneyline (as of Noon ET) suggests the Tigers have a 58% chance to win this game.
- The Tigers have been the favorites only twice in their last 10 games, but they won both times.
- This is the second start by Detroit’s Tarik Skubal against the Guardians in less than a week. Last season he allowed 11 ER in 13 IP in back-to-back starts against an opponent.
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Best Wagers For Tigers vs. Guardians, Thursday
Skubal is throwing his fastball less than 30% of the time. Ten years ago that would have been an unthinkably low rate, but in the Age Of The Spinning Baseball, a premier slider is the key to success.
The opposing lefty for Thursday’s game is Konnor Pilkington, who’s making his second MLB start. There is limited data on his pitch usage, but he features an above-average curveball. Tiger hitters may get a break because Pilkington is not known for his slider, which the Detroit lineup struggles against.
DraftKings Michigan has Race To 4 Runs prop with odds of +250 if neither team gets to four runs. This has the makings of a low-scoring game, so that’s a prop to look at.
At FanDuel Sportsbook Michigan, you can grab +230 odds on Miguel Cabrera to get two or more hits. The veteran is crafty, and facing an inexperienced starter, Miggy could be a good bet to shoot a few knocks to the right side.
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Overall Series Outlook
The Guardians are favored to take the four-game series, despite being the road team. The G’s are fourth in the Junior Circuit in runs scored, and the offense is doing it in an unconventional way. The team ranks low in groundball/flyball ratio, which means the Guardians should be hitting into too many force-outs and rally-killing double plays.
But, the Cleveland hitters have been successful in tight spots. The team leads MLB in the percentage of runners on base who go on to score. The offense pulls the ball (into the shift) more than an average team, but is compensating by smacking the ball up the middle at a rate that is fifth in baseball.
That means the Guardian batters are finding the holes when they need to score runners. Even though the offense ranks just 11th in the AL in total bases and extra-base hits, it ranks second in batting average. The Guardians have a lineup that makes contact (last in baseball in K’s) and moves the line when runners are on the bags.
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Tigers vs. Guardians Pitching Matchups
Thursday (5/26): Konnor Pilkington (0-0, 2.08 ERA) vs. Tarik Skubal (3-2, 2.22 ERA)
Friday (5/27): Shane Bieber (1-3, 3.55 ERA) vs. Alex Faedo (1-1. 3.00 ERA)
Saturday (5/28): Triston McKenzie (3-3, 2.70 ERA) vs. Elvin Rodriguez (0-0, 9.39 ERA)
Sunday (5/29): Zach Plesac (1-1, 5.40 ERA) vs. Beau Brieske (0-4, 5.04 ERA)
AP Photo/Chris O’Meara