Date/Time: April 28, 8:08pm EST
Starting Pitchers: Braves (Minor) Tigers (Fister)
MLB Gambling Odds from BetDSI
Moneyline: Tigers (-130) Braves (+120)
The Atlanta Braves came into this series with the best record in baseball, but Detroit has outscored them 17-4 in the first two games of this series. Detroit is tough to beat at home, and the Tigers are one of the favorites to get to the World Series again this year. This is the headline series of the weekend. ESPN will have national coverage of this one on Sunday Night Baseball.
After their two losses in the first couple games of this series, the Braves no longer have the best record in the majors, but they are clearly a team to be reckoned with this year. Justin Upton has given this offense a major boost. Upton leads the majors with 12 home runs this year. Evan Gattis has been a huge surprise at the catcher spot. He has helped the bottom of the Braves order to be extremely productive. Jason Heyward underwent an emergency appendectomy on April 22, and he is now on the disabled list. Atlanta leads the majors with 36 home runs.
While the Braves offense has been good this year, it has been their starting pitching that has led the way. Atlanta has the best bullpen in baseball anchored by Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel set all kinds of records last year, and he is off to another great start in 2013. The starting rotation is very deep, and they will get even better when Brandon Beachy returns from an injury. Mike Minor starts in this one. Minor actually leads the team in ERA with a sparking 1.80 ERA so far this season.
The Detroit Tigers were swept out of Los Angeles without a win, but they have gotten back on track this week in front of their home crowd at Comerica Park. Detroit is 44-16 in their last 60 home games. The Tigers are certainly a tough lineup to tame this year. Austin Jackson is one of the best leadoff hitters in the game, and Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera in the middle of the order is very tough. In addition to the guys they had last year, adding Torii Hunter and a healthy Victor Martinez should make this offense a real force all year long. The Tigers lead the majors with a team batting average of .279.
Doug Fister has been a great pickup for the Tigers since coming over from Seattle. Fister has turned into one of the most consistent number three starters in baseball. Fister hasn’t given up more than 3 runs in any of his last ten starts. Detroit is 18-4 in Fister’s last 22 home starts. He’ll be facing a good lineup on Sunday night, but that hasn’t slowed him down any in his recent strong starts. Detroit’s defense is one of the best in the majors so far this year. The Tigers have committed only four errors.
Free Pick: Under 8
It’s tough to take an under with these two offenses, but both of these pitchers have been great this year. Look for a much closer battle here than the first two games in this series.