MLB Odds & Picks: Detroit Tigers vs. Kansas City Royals (Thursday, Sept. 24)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images. Pictured: Ryan McBroom.
Detroit Tigers vs. Kansas City Royals Betting Odds
|Tigers Odds||+155 [Bet Now]|
|Royals Odds||-175 [Bet Now]|
|Over/Under||9.5 (+100/-128) [Bet Now]|
|First Pitch||8:05 p.m. ET|
The later you get into September, the more difficult it can be to find good betting angles, particularly with teams that are unlikely to reach the postseason. One way to counter that is to simply mine for lines that appear to be appear to be inflated by the betting public.
Tonight’s matchup between the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals provides just that opportunity.
With Kris Bubic on the mound, the Royals opened up as -140 favorites and that number has swelled to as high as -180 at some sportsbooks.
This is likely a reaction to Kansas City’s 12-3 win over the Cardinals last night.
Let’s dive into tonight’s matchup to see if the Royals are worth the price of being such a lofty favorite.
Fulmer Looks to Build From Last Start
Michael Fulmer is set to make his 10th start of the season as he continues on his road back from Tommy John surgery. Fulmer has been on a pitch count for much of the season as he hasn’t pitched past the third inning in any of his starts thus far.
His numbers aren’t great by any stretch. He’s 0-2 with a 5.58 xFIP and 1.97 WHIP. The Tigers right-hander has struggled with his control as his 4.26 BB/9 ratio is the highest of his career. He’s also been susceptible to the long ball as evidenced by his 2.49 HR/9 ratio.
However, there is some progress we should note for Michael Fulmer. If we look at his FanGraphs game logs this season, we’d see that in his last start, his fastball received an above average rating, his best of the year. He pitched three innings of shutout ball against the Cleveland Indians.
Although the Tigers ended up losing the game, it was a step forward for Fulmer as it was also his third consecutive start where he allowed fewer than two walks.
Heavy Dose of Fastballs from Bubic
Fulmer will be opposed by Kris Bubic, who will look to secure his second win of the season. Bubic is 1-6 with a 3.97 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. His 4.35 FIP, which is higher than his ERA, suggests that he could be in line for some regression.
Like Fulmer, Bubic has also struggled with his command as he carries a 3.77 BB/9 ratio. In his most recent start, he allowed four walks in 5.1 innings of work.
Per Baseball Savant, Bubic’s primary pitch is a four-seam fastball which averages around 91.5 mph. He actually throws the pitch more than 51% of the time, which is interesting because it’s rare that you see starting pitchers favor a pitch so heavily.
That statistic could actually loom large in this matchup as the Tigers are ranked 10th in all of baseball by scoring 13.7 runs above average against the fastball.
I mentioned that this line move appears to be a gross overreaction to Kansas City’s blowout win over the Cardinals yesterday. The Royals are only 1-9 in Bubic’s starts. That’s a 12.5% win rate and yet to back the favorites at -180 holds a 64.3% implied probability.
The Tigers likely won’t mind facing the Royals lefty, as they’ve hit .318 against southpaws compared to .226 against right-handers.
Their OBP is also dramatically higher with a .374 return against lefties versus a .287 against righties. And lastly, their slugging percentage (.506) is over .100 points higher vs. lefties.
This is just too much value to pass up on the Tigers who may rally around the fact that they still have a chance at postseason glory as they’ve yet to be mathematically eliminated.
BetMGM has the best price for the Tigers in the market at +150 and I’ll risk a half-unit to back the dog tonight at Kauffman Stadium.
The Bet: Tigers +155 (play down to +138), risking .5 units