Nervous might be the best description of
the three American League division leaders. The dog days of August are upon us, and a couple of squads sitting
atop divisions are stuck in neutral while a third continues to feel the heat of
its closest challenger.
Playing a key role in the anxiety is a series
in progress in Detroit,
where the Tigers are entertaining the New York Yankees for four games. The second contest is the subject of this
morning's preview, my goal being to provide a winning pick when Phil
Hughes leads the pinstripe posse up against Rick Porcello and the Motown Cats.
Game 2 opened as a pick on the MLB odds front and remains
close to level on the morning lines. A
few shops monitored by SBRodds.com are pricing the Yankees as slight favorites,
but we'll call it -105 on both squads for a consensus.
The total started at 9.5 and remains on that number with the
high/low evenly split.
took Monday's opener by a 7-2 count, and on the surface the final result wasn't
all that unexpected. After all, the
Tigers were expected to win as -180 chalk behind their big ace Justin Verlander, who enjoyed a dominating performance that was essentially marred only by his
own fielding gaffe that accounted for both Yankees runs.
There is no panic in New
York, not with the Yanks still sharing the best record in
the Junior Circuit with the Texas Rangers. However, both of those teams have to be a little worried about their
rotations, specifically one member of said rotations. For Texas,
a string of poor performances by high-priced Japanese import Yu Darvish is
weighing heavy on the minds of manager Ron Washington and pitching coach Mike
Maddux. Their counterparts in New York, Joe Girardi
and Larry Rothschild, have the same head-scratching going on with regards to
Nova was nothing short of a cash machine for bettors from
last season into late June this year. But after guiding the Yankees to 12 wins in his first 14 starts of 2012,
New York is
2-6 over his last eight assignments. It
would be different if he was still pitching well, but he isn't with his ERA up
above 8.00 in five outings since the all-star break.
Hughes is certainly doing his part to help pick up the slack
during Nova's slump. The right-hander has
been running in the black for better than two months now with the Yankees 8-3
(+5.1 units) since June 3 when he tossed a complete game to beat Verlander on
the Comerica Park diamond as a +160 dog. He really just had one hiccup during the
stretch at Atlanta, and the road overall has
been a bit of a problem with New York
in the red about $3.00.
has rebounded from a rough road trip recently and has become an absolute force
at home. Monday's triumph was the fifth
straight for the Tigers, and their ninth consecutive win at Comerica Park
as they continue to keep pressure on the Chicago White Sox for occupancy of the
AL Central penthouse.
Porcello has also been turning a profit over basically the
same time span as Hughes, with the Tigers winning nine of his last 12 starts
(+6.3). Likewise, he had a solid showing
against the Yanks during that early June series.
He's been a bit of an enigma while cashing baseball betting
slips, however, getting hit pretty hard in a few games the past couple of
months only to be bailed out by his lineup and bullpen. Porcello has an ERA up over five-&-a-half
his since the end of June, yet the Tigers are 4-1 in his five assignments.
Fittingly for a game lined as a pick, the Tigers and Yankees
enter Tuesday's tilt having split their previous 22 regular season
encounters. The totals are also level in
the four games played so far this year in Detroit.
pick: Tigers -105