In: MLB Free Picks3 Oct 2011
Chris Hodge, Free Picks Newsletter Editor
245-149-3 of last 395
MLB: New York Yankees (+120) vs. Detroit Tigers (-130); Over/Under (O/U 7o -120)
Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander has started two games against the Yankees this season, but the 24-5 pitcher has yet to pick up a win, or a decision, in either of those appearances. In fact, his two previous outings against the Yankees have been kind of ugly.
The Yankees have lit Verlander up for six earned runs, 11 hits and eight walks in just 12 innings. The Tigers have gone on to lose both of Verlander’s previous starts against New York.
On the flip side of things the Tigers have had their way with C.C. Sabathia as well. In fact, Sabathia’s numbers against the Tigers look a lot like Verlander’s Yankees stats minus the walks.
The Tigers managed to steal one from the Yankees at New York in Game 2. With Verlander pitching at home tonight for Game 3, things are looking good for Tigers to go up 2-1 in the series.
Verlander is 10-3 with a 2.37 ERA at home this season, and that number would be much lower if he hadn’t lost concentration against the Orioles in a late-September game in which the Os scored six runs.
I don’t expect another bad performance tonight.
Verlander is aware that his brilliant season can be washed away if the Tigers fall to the Yankees and fail to advance. He’s pitching for more than just another win.
The Yankees lost both of Sabathia’s recent road starts in Toronto and Los Angeles, and Sabathia’s eight walks were among the reasons for the losses. If he can’t find the plate tonight, it’s a certain loss for the Yanks. If he does find the plate, it might result in disaster as well. The Tigers have scored 38 runs over their last four home games.
In other words, Verlander should be tight tonight and the Tigers offense will get their hacks against Sabathia to pull out the much-needed home win.
Pick: Take the Detroit Tigers (-130)