John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Trevor Cahill
MLB Betting: Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland Athletics
- Tigers: Francisco Liriano (+215)
- Athletics: Trevor Cahill (-235)
- Over/Under: 8.5 (+100/-120)
- First pitch: 4:05 p.m. ET
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These two teams were unkind to me last night, so when I ran my numbers for Sunday and got an over signal for this game, there was a little bit of a groan. But sometimes you just have to trust your numbers, no matter how gross they seem. Today should be better than yesterday for a couple reasons: the weather will be warmer (above 70 degrees), which is better for hitting, and home-plate umpire Alfonso Marquez generally has a narrow strike zone, which results in more walks.
Additionally, the two starting pitchers have recently struggled, and there’s no reason to believe they will improve in this spot.
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Trevor Cahill was in a tremendous rhythm at the end of April and through the entire month of May despite a trip to the 10-day Disabled List for an elbow impingement. June brought more problems, though, as Cahill had pain in his Achilles and went on the DL for a second time. Since returning, he’s had uninspiring splits.
- May: 4 starts, 26 IP, 17 hits, 5 ER, 4 BB, 22 K and .185 BAA
- July: 4 starts, 20.1 IP, 17 hits, 11 ER, 11 BB, 18 K and .236 BAA
After inducing a lot of weak contact and ground-ball outs earlier in the year, Cahill has seen the ratios turn, and he actually registered a surprising 11 fly-ball outs against Toronto in his last outing. We don’t know how much Cahill’s July performance is the result of his injuries vs. the standard wear and tear of a season, but his recent form suggests that he could get hit around in this game.
On the other side is Francisco Liriano, who wasn’t great to start the season but was better in April than he has been recently. After going to the bullpen briefly, Liriano is back in a starting role despite his July ERA of 6.00 across 18 innings. Notably, Liriano hasn’t gone into the seventh inning since May 20. The Detroit bullpen figures to pitch a lot in this game, and that’s great for run-scoring opportunities.
Once again, I project value on the over in this series. We’ll see if that value translates into money.
The Bet: Over 8.5
Editor’s note: The opinion on this game is from the individual writer and is based on his research, analysis and perspective. It is independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.