MLB fans will be treated to a Wednesday night doubleheader on ESPN as the Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers wrap up their series in Motown and the Arizona Diamondbacks take on the San Francisco Giants.
Matchup: Kansas City Royals at Detroit Tigers
Date/Time: September 10, 7:08 p.m. ET
MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook
Probable Starters: KC: James Shields (13-7, 3.23) v. DET: Rick Porcello (15-10, 3.30)
Moneyline: Detroit -120
The Kansas City Royals are going to rely on Big Game James Shields to salvage a game in their series with the Detroit Tigers. The Royals fell into a tie with the Tigers with Tuesday’s 4-2 loss at the hands of Max Scherzer and they’ll have to avoid the sweep in order to leave town the way they came – in first place. The Royals do have two games in hand. If the Royals do fail to win the AL Central, their head-to-head season series with the Tigers is a big reason why, as the Tigers are now 11-4 against Kansas City.
James Shields has not pitched a bigger game in his Royals career than Wednesday night’s outing. Since the All-Star Break, Shields has been very ace-like for the Royals, posting a 2.45 ERA over 10 starts. Unfortunately, the Royals are just 6-4 in those outings. Shields does have only 46 strikeouts in his last 69.2 innings of work, which is a bit of a concern for the Royals. He has thrown 66 percent of his pitches for strikes in that span. The Royals have won five of Shields’s last seven starts.
Rick Porcello has been overshadowed by his rotation mates most of the season, but he has been one of the team’s steadiest starting pitchers. Porcello’s last two starts have not been good, as he has allowed six runs in each of them in 9.2 innings of work. It hasn’t all been Porcello’s fault because four of the 12 runs are unearned, but he is a ground ball guy that pitches to contact and relies on his defense to play well behind him. Since the start of August, Porcello has eight appearances, seven starts and one extra innings relief appearance, and he has factored into the decision in all eight games. He’s 3-5 in that span.
Shields will be facing the Tigers for the 18th time in his career. He’s 6-5 with a 4.37 ERA in the previous 17 starts. This season, Shields is 0-2 against the Tigers in three starts with a 5.49 ERA. The Royals are 18-12 in Shields’s 30 starts for a profit of 2.77 units.
Porcello will be facing the Royals for the 18th time as well. He’s 8-3 with a 4.19 ERA in his previous 17 starts. This season, Porcello is 2-0 against the Royals with a 1.93 ERA. The Tigers are 16-11 in his 27 starts for a profit of 4.64 units.
Free MLB Pick: Kansas City Royals
Looking to avoid the sweep, the Royals will have their ace on the mound. It’s a little surprising how Porcello has fared against a team that runs the bases so well and picks up a lot of infield hits, but the Royals should get to him at some point and the Tigers certainly have an inflated line once again as the Royals continue to crumble.
Matchup: Arizona Diamondbacks at San Francisco Giants
Date/Time: September 10, 10:15 p.m. ET
MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook
Probable Starters: ARI: Josh Collmenter (10-7, 3.81) v. SF: Ryan Vogelsong (8-10, 4.06)
Moneyline: San Francisco -163
Two teams going in drastically different directions face on in the nightcap of ESPN’s Wednesday Night doubleheader. The Arizona Diamondbacks, losers of 23 of their last 34 entering play on Tuesday, are looking at major offseason changes as GM Kevin Towers has already been fired and manager Kirk Gibson is not far behind. The San Francisco Giants are comfortably in the driver’s seat for home-field in the Wild Card play-in game, but catching the Dodgers is not impossible.
Josh Collmenter will head to the hill in the middle game of this series. Collmenter has been a pleasant surprise for a Diamondbacks rotation that was desperate for somebody to throw innings. With Patrick Corbin and Bronson Arroyo both down with Tommy John surgeries, Collmenter has been a godsend for the Diamondbacks. Not only has he eaten innings, but he has pitched pretty well. Since joining the rotation in mid-April, Collmenter is 10-7 with a 3.90 ERA and the Diamondbacks are 16-8 in his 24 starts. He’s thrown three straight solid outings, holding the opposition to one run in each of them.
Ryan Vogelsong missed time due to injury last season and has stayed together this season to give the Giants some decent innings at the back of their rotation. Up until he got blasted in Colorado in his last start, Vogelsong had a 3.73 ERA through 27 starts. He gave up eight runs on 10 hits to the Rockies. Vogelsong completed the month of August with a 2.58 ERA over six starts, but the Giants only won three of those games. He’s gotten just 3.52 runs of support per outing.
Collmenter will be facing the Giants for the 17th time overall and sixth time as a starter. In his career, Collmenter is 5-1 with a 3.74 ERA against the Giants. In four appearances, one start, this season, Collmenter is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA. The Diamondbacks are 16-8 in Collmenter’s 24 starts for a profit of 8.69 units, which places him in the top 10 among starters this season.
Vogelsong will be facing the Diamondbacks for the 20th time in his career with 13 previous starts. He is 3-5 with a 4.67 ERA. This season, Vogelsong is 1-1 with a 5.51 ERA in three starts. The Giants are 14-14 for a profit of 1.17 units in Vogelsong’s 28 starts.
Free MLB Pick: San Francisco Giants
Collmenter has been good, but run support should be at a premium the rest of the way as the Diamondbacks are nursing some injuries and looking forward to the end of the season. The Giants are playing like a team in a situation where every game counts and that’s exactly what the situation is. They’re worth backing at almost any price against Arizona.