MLB Gambling: Lock of the Day
Detroit Tigers (Anibal Sanchez) @ Tampa Bay Rays (Nathan Karns)
I’m not sure how many of us had the Tigers chasing the Twins at this point in the season, but that is where we are right now. The casual sports fan/bettor would label this a disappointment and avoid the team altogether, especially with Miguel Cabrera sidelined, but that’s not you … is it? The “casual” gambler helps fund tall buildings in Vegas while you on the other hand prefer to take some of their wealth for yourself. Yes, the Tigers have underachieved up to this point and they may go into “sell mode” by week’s end, but you’re just worried about winning money NOW and there is no reason that they can’t help you do just that at St. Pete this evening.
It wasn’t long ago (2012) that Anibal Sanchez was a 14-gamewinner with a 2.57 ERA and 202 strikeouts, a form that we’ve seen flashes of lately. The righty has rung up at least five strikeouts in seven of his last eight outings, all of which have resulted in Tigers victories. He struggled through the first two months of 2015 (5.69 ERA), but has resembled the steady pitcher we’ve come to know and love of late, a trend that I love to continue against a Rays offense that ranks fifth in strikeout percentage. The primary knock on Sanchez is that when he isn’t striking out hitters, he’s allowing the highest FB/GB rate of his career, a legitimate long-term concern that needs to be addressed. That said, with the Rays ranking in the bottom third of the league in HR/FB%, that flaw doesn’t project as a damning statistic this evening.
A quality outing from Sanchez should be more than enough against Nathan Karns. While the Rays 27-year-old has better numbers for the season, this is simply a poor matchup for him. He’s been effective in limiting right-handed hitters (.217 batting average), but has been unable to avoid the big mistake to them as 41.5 percent of their hits have gone for extra bases. That is at least a minor red flag moving forward, but against the Tigers, it is the biggest flaw a right-handed pitcher can have. Yoenis Cespedes (slugging .528 against RHP this season) and J.D. Martinez (.576) are a pair of right-handed bats with reverse split trends this season and are doing serious damage against RHP. They are joined by a player in Nick Castellanos who is heating up (.286/.341/.571 slash in July) in the middle of a lineup that figures to step into the batter’s box with a chance to do major damage tonight (1-3 hitters are batting .311 against Karns this season).
Maybe the Tigers are worse than we thought they would be, but I fully expect them to go 1-0 today and that is all you need. Vegas is doing you a huge favor in making Detroit a slight underdog tonight: take advantage. If your betting source allows you to take this game reverse run line (where the underdog gives 1.5 runs to the favorite in exchange for very favorable odds), this game could fund your betting adventures for the week ahead.
Soppe Socre: Tigers 6 – Rays 2
Photo via Getty
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