Date/Time: May 19, 8:05 p.m. EST
Starting Pitchers: Detroit (Fister) Texas (Holland)
MLB Gambling Odds from JustBet
Moneyline: Tigers (-110) Rangers (-110)
The highly anticipated four-game series between the Tigers and the Rangers will end with a battle on Sunday Night Baseball this weekend. These are arguably the top two teams in the American League right now, and this could certainly be a postseason preview. Two underrated pitchers who have been great this year will square off in what should be a great game. Let’s take a closer look at this one.
Detroit’s offense was one of the best in baseball last year, and it is quite a bit better now that they have a healthy Victor Martinez as well as Torii Hunter in the lineup. Hunter is hitting .309 so far this year, and him getting on base has really helped this team produce since Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder hit right behind him. Jhonny Peralta was a bit disappointing last year, but he is hitting .319 so far this year. Austin Jackson’s injury slows this offense down a bit, but they are very good. Detroit leads the majors in runs scored this year.
The Tigers have become a much more complete team now that they have a strong pitching rotation. Justin Verlander has been a great Ace for several years, but guys like Doug Fister and Anibal Sanchez make this team really dangerous because they provide very good depth in the rotation. You could make a good argument that the Tigers may well have the deepest rotation in the American League right now. Fister is 5-1 with a 3.06 ERA so far this year.
The Texas Rangers are always thought of as a team that will outscore you, because that is the style of baseball they played for many years. That isn’t the way this year’s team is winning baseball games. Texas is fourth in the majors in team ERA despite playing in a hitter-friendly ballpark. The Rangers are loaded with good starting pitching, and they have a very good bullpen as well. Derek Holland was an inconsistent pitcher a couple years ago. He seemed to have great games and then terrible ones. That has changed over the last year or so. Holland is 3-2 with a stellar 2.93 ERA this year. He has an amazing 1.57 ERA at home this season.
Don’t think just because they are winning a lot of games because of their pitching that the Texas Rangers can’t hit anymore. Despite losing Josh Hamilton in the offseason, the Rangers are fourth in the majors in team batting average at .266. Ian Kinsler leads the team with a .302 average, and he really sets the table for this lineup. Lance Berkman has done a great job stepping in and producing in the middle of the order. Mitch Moreland, Adrian Beltre, and Nelson Cruz all have at least nine homers on the year.
Free MLB Pick: Under 9
Both of these pitchers are really pitching well right now. These are two good lineups, but at this total I’ll take the under with two very good pitchers.