The American League East will be well-represented in a couple of Tuesday night’s top baseball games will be on MLB Network with regional coverage available for Detroit at New York and Baltimore at Toronto.
Matchup: Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees
Date/Time: August 5, 7:05 p.m. ET
TV: MLB Network
Probable Starters: DET: David Price (11-8, 3.11) v. NYY: Hiroki Kuroda (7-7, 3.98)
Moneyline: Detroit -134
Total: 7.5 -105/-115
David Price will make his Detroit Tigers debut in a place he’s very familiar with as the Tigers continue their series in the Big Apple against the New York Yankees. The Yankees will counter with a tough customer of their own in Hiroki Kuroda. After the Yankees had to face Max Scherzer on Monday, they get Price on Tuesday, Justin Verlander on Wednesday, and Rick Porcello on Thursday. Scherzer went seven innings for the Tigers in Monday night’s 2-1 loss as the Tigers were stymied by Brandon McCarthy. The Tigers lead the AL Central by 4.5 games, while the Yankees are still five games behind Baltimore in the AL East and are now one game back in the AL Wild Card race.
The Tigers have to be excited about the addition of Price, who was acquired last week as part of a three-team trade that sent Drew Smyly to Tampa Bay and Austin Jackson to Seattle. The Tigers also parted with prospect Willy Adames. Price was a big part of Tampa Bay’s resurgence in the standings. Since the start of June, Price is 7-4 with a 1.98 ERA and a 99/14 K/BB ratio over 86.1 innings of work. Even though Price likely wanted to take the Rays to the playoffs, he goes from well out of the race to right in the thick of things and that could certainly provide a big boost for Price.
With a lot of youth in the starting rotation, the pressure has mounted for Hiroki Kuroda of late. He responded in July by lowering his season ERA from 4.23 to 3.98 with a 3.38 ERA over 40 innings of work. Eleven of Kuroda’s last 17 starts have been quality starts with six or more innings pitched and three or fewer earned runs allowed. In three starts since the All-Star Break, Kuroda is 1-1 with a 3.26 ERA, so maybe the time off was just what the 39-year-old needed.
Price has faced the Yankees a lot in his career. This will be his 24th career start against the Bronx Bombers and he also has one relief appearance. In a sample size spanning 152.1 innings, Price is 10-5 with a 3.66 ERA. Price has a 3.23 ERA against the Yankees over his last 11 starts and is 1-1 with a 3.79 ERA against them this season. The Rays were just 14-9 in Price’s 23 starts for a loss of 1.33 units, but the Tigers average 4.7 runs per game compared to Tampa Bay’s 4.0 runs per game.
This will be Kuroda’s fourth career start against the Tigers. He’s 0-1 with a 3.72 ERA, but he has posted a 14/2 K/BB ratio. Kuroda last faced the Tigers in 2012 and he had no decisions in two starts with a 3.38 ERA. The Yankees are 10-12 in Kuroda’s 22 starts for a loss of 4.19 units.
Free MLB Pick: Detroit
The pressure will be on for David Price, but he is the kind of pitcher that will embrace it head on. He’s comfortable pitching at Yankee Stadium, where he has a career 6-2 record and a 3.57 ERA. The Rays only scored 3.69 runs per game for Price and the Tigers could do some damage against Kuroda.
Matchup: Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays
Date/Time: August 5, 7:10 p.m. ET
TV: MLB Network
MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook
Probable Starters: BAL: Bud Norris (8-7, 3.69) v. TOR: Mark Buehrle (11-7, 3.11)
Moneyline: Toronto -120
Total: 9 105/-125
The Baltimore Orioles kept right on rolling with a 7-3 victory during Monday’s makeup game in Washington of the July 8 rainout between the two teams. Since ending the month of May at 27-27, the Orioles are 46-21 over their last 67 games. Since reaching a high point of 14 games over .500 at 38-24 in June 6, the Blue Jays have had lots of ups and downs and are now 60-53, which would be good enough for the second Wild Card in the AL if the playoffs started today. The idle Blue Jays saw their lead trimmed to one as the Yankees beat the Tigers.
Bud Norris will take the hill for the Orioles as they attempt to put some distance between themselves and the Blue Jays in the AL East standings. Norris hasn’t gotten steady work of late with just four starts in each of June and July. He dealt with a groin injury in June and was sent down to Double-A to make a start over the All-Star Break in order to keep pitching. Since his ERA ballooned to 4.41 on June 4, Norris has a 2.55 ERA over his last 42.1 innings of work.
Mark Buehrle threw seven quality innings against St. Louis on June 7 when he allowed one run on five hits. In the nine starts since, Buehrle has posted a 4.86 ERA and his season ERA has risen by more than a run. Buehrle has allowed 70 hits over his last 53.2 innings of work and nine of them have left the yard. Opposing hitters are batting .313 in that span. The Jays are 4-5, but Buehrle is just 1-5. Buehrle has been a benefactor of good offense all season long because the Jays have averaged 5.32 runs of support for him.
Norris will be facing the Blue Jays for the fifth time in his career. He’s fared well in his four previous starts with a 2-0 record and a 2.66 ERA. This season, Norris is 2-0 with just four runs allowed in 19.2 innings against the Blue Jays. The Orioles are 10-8 in Norris’s starts for a profit of 2.41 units.
Buehrle will be making his 22nd career start against the Orioles and has two relief appearances. Overall, Buehrle is just 8-9, but has a 3.41 ERA in 142.1 innings against the Birds. Buehrle was 0-3 with an 8.16 ERA against the Orioles last year, but he has improved to 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA this season. The Jays are 15-7 for a profit of 8.23 units in Buerhle’s starts, making him the fourth-most profitable pitcher in the league this season.
Free MLB Pick: Toronto
The Orioles are rolling right along, but their bullpen could have used a day off on Monday. The makeup game added some additional strain to a team that has played nine one-run games out of their last 12. The Blue Jays enjoyed a much-needed day off at home after losing three straight to the Astros and the savvy veteran Buehrle should step up in game one of a huge series for the Jays.
Adam Burke is a freelance writer and amateur handicapper with a knack for finding value through matchup analysis and a deep understanding of the sports betting market. His main area of expertise is baseball, with a background in sabermetrics and advanced statistics. He is the host of The Gridiron Gambling Report and our college football and college basketball BangTheBook.com podcasts on the BlogTalkRadio Network.