Date/Time: October 5th, 9:00 PM ET
Probable Starters: Verlander (Detroit) vs. Gray (Oakland)
Moneyline: Tigers -126
The Detroit Tigers have jumped out to a 1-0 series lead in the best-of-five ALDS. Can they essentially stick a fork in the Oakland Athletics on Saturday and take a 2-0 series lead back to Comerica Park on Monday? The Tigers are the slight favorites on the MLB betting lines and we’ll find out if they can pull it off at 9:00 ET on Saturday.
The Tigers plated three runs in the first inning last night, and the probably left a few runs on the board after that as well. However, RHP Max Scherzer pitched a great game, and he and his bullpen were good enough to hang on for the victory. The question that we have in this one though, is whether RHP Justin Verlander is going to pitch like the man that pitched in the regular season this year, or the one that dominated in this series last year? Verlander wasn’t terrible this season, but he wasn’t great either. We aren’t all that worried about the 13-12 record, as a lot of that had to do more with luck than anything else. However, Verlander walked 75 batters, and he pitched one of the lowest total number of innings in his career at just 218.1. He was responsible for losses in nine of his final 10 games of the season as well, and he doesn’t seem to have that killer instinct the way that he used to.
Oakland had better hope that it is the bad Verlander that shows up and not the one that didn’t allow a thing to it last season in two games in the postseason, or its year is going to be as good as over with. The A’s had nothing going offensively last night, and they really only mustered one rally in the seventh inning when they scored a pair of runs. Tonight is going to be more difficult, as RHP Sonny Gray is going to be making his first career postseason start. We only saw Gray start 10 games this year, none of which came before August 10th. He has good in most of those games, and absolutely excellent in others. Gray has kept his team in nine of his 10 starts that he has had, and the hope is that that is going to continue in this game. The Vanderbilt product went 5-3 with a 2.67 ERA, though his numbers were probably a bit inflated in relation to the way that he actually pitched.
The bottom line here with the Tigers is that they have proven that they have the better team. Their offense is starting to get it together again after a rough last few days of the regular season, including getting no-hit by the Miami Marlins. If that offense can scratch together four runs today, Verlander will be just fine and will get back to his winning ways.
Detroit Tigers @ Oakland Athletics Pick: Detroit Tigers -126
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.