It is the start of a three-game interleague series for the weekend as the Arizona Diamondbacks travel to play the Detroit Tigers. It is time to continue our MLB odds series with a Diamondbacks-Tigers prediction, pick, and how to watch.
The Diamondbacks enter this series as winners of eight of their last ten and with an extra day of rest. After taking the first two games from the Nationals, game three of the series was postponed due to poor air quality from the wildfires in Canada. With those two wins, the Diamondbacks made their lead in the NL West 1.5 games over the Dodgers, as they look to keep putting distance between themselves and their division rival.
The Tigers lost their scheduled off day due to the air quality issues. They were in Philadelphia when the game Wednesday was postponed to Thursday. Ultimately it was a three-game sweep at the hands of the Phillies, and the Tigers have now lost six straight games. They have lost eight of their last ten overall, and find themselves in fourth in the AL Central, 3.5 games back of the Twins.
Here are the Diamondbacks-Tigers MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Diamondbacks-Tigers Odds
Arizona Diamondbacks: -1.5 (+116)
Detroit Tigers: +1.5 (-140)
Over: 8.5 (-105)
Under: 8.5 (-115)
How To Watch Diamondbacks vs. Tigers
Time: 6:40 PM ET/ 3:40 PM PT
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Why The Diamondbacks Could Cover The Spread
A conversation about the Diamondbacks has to start with their rookie of the year candidate, Corbin Carroll. He has been amazing this year for the Diamondbacks. Carroll is 16th in the league this year with a .300 average, while also hitting 11 home runs and driving in 27. He is ninth in the league in OPS and has stolen 18 bases this year. Since June started, he has been on fire as well. He has stolen two bases while hitting .375. He has hit two home runs and driven in five in just six games.
Amazingly, Carroll does not even have the best batting average on his team. That belongs to Lourdes Gurriel Jr. who may be back in this game. He was expected to be out yesterday due to a groin issue but is still listed as day-to-day. He is 8th in the majors with a .310 batting average, and 11th with a .909 OPS. With all these guys reaching base, someone has to drive them home. That has been the job of Christian Walker. He leads the team in RBIs with 36 on the season. While he has only driven in one run this month, he is still swinging the bat well. In the five games this month he is batting .368 with an OBP of .455.
It will be Merrill Kelly on the mound today for the Diamondbacks. He has been great this year, sitting at 7-3 with a 2.80 ERA. Last time out he went seven innings with just two earned runs and five hits. It was the fourth straight start in which he gave up two or fewer earned runs and received a win. He has also been striking out batters well. He has struck out eight or more batters in three of the last four starts.
Why The Tigers Could Cover The Spread
The Tigers need to figure out how to score some runs. There is a deeper issue for the Tigers though than scoring runs. They are last in the league in batting average and slugging percentage. The Tigers are just not making contact this year. They are second to last in the league in batted balls this year, meaning balls they made contact with. Even when they do make contact, only 6.5% of the time do they make solid contact. The Tigers need to figure out how to make solid contact regularly if they want to get back to winning. The problem is, the best guy on the roster at making solid contact, Riley Greene, is on the IL.
In terms of solid contact, the next best guy on the team is Zack Short. Short did not play in nearly the first full month of the season, but since making his first appearance on April 29th he has been good. He is batting .291 with three home runs and ten RBIs in just over a month. Joining him in making some good contact is Zach McKinstry. McKinstry is on a cold streak though. After hitting .301 in May, he is hitting just .130 this month and has struck out five times.
The Tigers send their best pitcher to the mound today with Michael Lorenzen. He is 2-2 on the season with a 3.21 ERA. In six of his nine starts this year he has gone five-plus innings while giving up one or fewer earned runs. That includes last time out when he went seven innings and gave up just a run. He has also had three rough starts this year where he has given up five or more runs. Amazingly, the Tigers have won two of those games.
Final Diamondbacks-Tigers Prediction & Pick
This game is about run support. Both pitchers going to the mound today are having good years. The difference in records is mainly because Kelly is getting run support, and Lorenzen is not. He has three starts this year where he has given up one or fewer earned runs and did not get the decision. He also has one start where he gave up just one run and took the loss. With how poor the Tigers' bats are, this will be the case again today. The Diamondbacks will win this game simply off the fact the Tigers will not be able to score.
Final Diamondbacks-Tigers Prediction & Pick: Diamondbacks -1.5 (+116)