The Detroit Tigers face a must-win game on Saturday as they take on the Atlanta Braves. The Tigers are trying to catch either Toronto or Baltimore for the last Wild Card spot in the American League. The Tigers are expected to go with Jordan Zimmermann in this contest while the Braves send Aaron Blair. Let’s look at the contest and MLB picks.
Probable Pitching Matchup – Zimmermann vs. Blair
Zimmermann has been a bust this season for the Tigers as he is 9-6 with a 4.88 ERA. He has had neck and lat issues all season and he simply has been a hard pitcher to trust. This is his first start since September 10th and only his third start since late June. He has only thrown 5.2 innings in his last three starts and he is 0-2 in those starts with an ERA over 20.
Blair got his first career win against the Mets a couple of weeks ago but then he allowed five runs in 3.1 innings against the Marlins last Saturday. Blair is 1-2 in his last three starts with an ERA of 8.10. He is 1-7 on the season with an ERA of 8.02.
Detroit was 40-38 in their first 78 road games with 40 going over, 37 going under with 1 push. The Tigers are scoring 4.7 runs per game and allowing 4.3 per contest.
The Braves were 29-49 in their first 78 home games with 44 going over, 28 going under with 6 pushes. Atlanta is scoring just over 4 runs per game and allowing 4.5 per contest.
The Tigers were 4-0 in their last 4 road games before the contest on Friday night. The Tigers are 5-2 in their last 7 interleague road games. The Tigers are 10-4 in their last 14 interleague games vs. a right-handed starter. The Tigers are 36-16 in their last 52 vs. the National League East. The Tigers are 1-4 in Zimmermann’s last 5 starts.
The Braves were 5-0 in their last 5 home games before this series started on Friday. The Braves are 8-0 in their last 8 games vs. a right-handed starter. The Braves are 7-22 in their last 29 interleague games. The Braves are 3-11 in Blair’s last 14 starts. The Braves are 1-6 in Blair’s last 7 home starts.
The Over is 10-1 in the Tigers last 11 interleague road games. The Over is 9-4 in the Tigers last 13 vs. the National League East. The Over is 4-0 in Zimmermann’s last 4 starts overall. The Over is 13-3-1 in the Braves last 17 home games vs. a right-handed starter. The Over is 19-6-1 in the Braves last 26 home games. The Over is 5-1 in Blair’s last 6 home starts. The Under is 8-1 in the last 9 meetings in Atlanta.
This is a game that Detroit really needs to win but Zimmermann has just been awful for much of the season. Blair has also pitched poorly all season so it is hard to take Atlanta in this contest. This should end up as a high scoring game so I will avoid a side and take the over.