Fans will be treated to regional coverage on Tuesday night on MLB Network as the Tigers take on the Pirates in Pittsburgh and the Dodgers continue their series against the Braves in Atlanta.
Matchup: Detroit Tigers at Pittsburgh Pirates
Date/Time: August 12, 7:05 p.m. ET
TV: MLB Network
MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook
Probable Starters: DET: Robbie Ray (1-1, 4.70) v. PIT: Edinson Volquez (9-7, 3.70)
Moneyline: Pittsburgh -123
Total: 8 -110/100
The Tigers ran into the worst-case scenario on Monday night as Justin Verlander left the game in the second inning with shoulder discomfort, forcing a Tigers bullpen that played in a 19-inning game on Sunday to work plenty of innings again on Monday night. With Pittsburgh’s 11-6 win on Monday, the Tigers have now lost six out of their last eight as the Royals have caught them in the AL Central standings. Pittsburgh’s win coupled with St. Louis’s loss vaulted the Pirates into second place in the NL Central.
An injury to Anibal Sanchez has forced the Tigers to recall Robbie Ray from Triple-A Toledo to rejoin the Major League rotation. He made four appearances with three starts in May. Ray posted a 4.70 ERA over his 15.1 innings, but those numbers are a little misleading because he allowed just one run over 5.1 innings to the Astros in his Major League debut and threw six shutout innings against the Twins in his second start. His last start against the Rangers was the bad one, as he allowed 13 baserunners in 3.1 innings and seven Rangers touched home plate.
The latest reclamation project for the Pirates has been successful as Edinson Volquez has posted a 3.76 ERA in his 22 starts. On the season, 64 percent of his pitches have been strikes, so even though the K/BB ratio isn’t up to league average, he has fixed some of the control problems that had ailed him in the past. Volquez’s last eight starts have been particularly effective as the Pirates are 7-1 and Volquez’s 2.22 ERA is a big reason why.
Ray will be facing the Pirates for the first time in his career. In Triple-A Toledo, Ray was 7-5 with a 3.78 ERA in 18 starts and one relief appearance. Not only did Ray make his Major League debut this season, but this season marks the first time he’s been at the Triple-A level. The Tigers were 1-2 for a loss of 1.52 units in Ray’s three starts.
Volquez has two career starts against the Tigers, but none have been more recent than 2007. Current Tigers only have 17 career plate appearances against Volquez. Volquez is 6-5 with a 3.68 ERA at PNC Park this season. The Pirates are 13-9 in Volquez’s 22 starts for a profit of 4.77 units.
Free MLB Pick: Pittsburgh
The Tigers are going to push Robbie Ray as far as he can go no matter the results and that’s going to put a lot of pressure on him and the Tigers. Volquez can be tough to hit for teams that haven’t seen him before because he can be effectively wild. It’s been a good run for him of late and that should continue on Tuesday night.
Matchup: Los Angeles Dodgers at Atlanta Braves
Date/Time: August 12, 7:10 p.m. ET
MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook
Probable Starters: LAD: Dan Haren (9-9, 4.57) v. ATL: Mike Minor (4-7, 5.42)
Moneyline: Atlanta -128
Total: 8 -120/100
The Braves’ offensive struggles continued on Monday night as Kevin Correia shut them down over six innings. The Dodgers added on late to turn a decent pitcher’s duel into a blowout with a 6-2 win. The Braves have now lost nine of their last 11 as the tailspin continues. The Dodgers have won 11 of their last 16 as they keep widening the gap between themselves and the Giants.
Dan Haren will take the hill for the Dodgers on Tuesday night. The hope was that Haren would have more success in a ballpark that suppressed home runs, but he has allowed 22 in 134 innings of work, which puts him ahead of last season’s pace when he allowed 28 in 169.2 innings. Thirteen of those 22 home runs have come in Haren’s 13 road starts. Since May 7, Haren has allowed at least one home run in 14 of his 16 starts. Not surprisingly, he has a 5.48 ERA over that span and opposing batters are slugging over .500.
Mike Minor hasn’t had the season that the Braves were looking for, especially after they lost Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen prior to the start of the season. Minor had shoulder discomfort in Spring Training and that may have flared up once again. Over his first seven starts of the season, Minor had a 3.07 ERA. In his last 10 starts, Minor has posted a horrible 7.33 ERA. Opposing batters are tearing the cover off the ball with a .357/.403/.584/.987 slash line. Somehow, the Braves are 6-4 in those 10 starts, so their offensive showings must come with Minor on the mound.
Haren is 5-2 with a 4.68 ERA against the Braves in eight starts and one relief appearance. Only three of those nine appearances have been more recent than 2010 and those came last season with the Washington Nationals. Haren made three appearances, two starts, against the Braves last season and was 1-0 with a 1.20 ERA over 15 innings. The Dodgers are 11-12 in Haren’s 23 starts for a loss of 2.35 units.
Minor will be facing the Dodgers for the sixth time in his career. His five previous starts have been pretty good, even though Minor has a 1-1 record. His 2.32 ERA and 26/7 K/BB ratio are definitely encouraging signs for the southpaw. The Braves are 8-9 in Minor’s 17 starts this season for a loss of 3.22 units.
Free MLB Pick: LA Dodgers
The Braves are in freefall mode and Minor is doing the same on a personal level. He’s become very hittable over his last 10 starts and there could be some sort of discomfort that he’s trying to pitch through. Haren should be undervalued in this outing because of his struggles and the Dodgers are playing quite well despite some injuries.