MLB Wednesday Weather: Steam Hitting Motor City Over/Under

MLB Wednesday Weather: Steam Hitting Motor City Over/Under article feature image

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Comerica Park.

  • The Tigers are the largest home underdog of the season tonight, with Gregory Soto taking on Justin Verlander and the Astros.
  • Windy conditions are impacting the over/under, though, and using Action Network's betting tools we can see how sharp bettors are reacting.

Tonight in Motown, the lowly Tigers and their lowly starter, Gregory Soto, face the mighty Astros and their future Hall of Fame starter who’s married to a supermodel, Justin Verlander.

It’ll certainly be an uphill battle for Detroit, which, at +315, is currently in line to be the third-largest underdog of the season. The Orioles are owners of both larger numbers — both of which occurred during their first series of the year against the Yankees, and they actually won one at +331.

I’m not going to go and tell you that betting on Detroit is some sneaky smart play or something, though. Instead, as the title implies, I’m focused on the over/under.

Tonight at Comerica, temperatures in the upper 60s will be accompanied by a 9 mph wind out to left field — something that has been a strong spot for the over historically, but particularly so at Comerica Park.

Games with 8+ mph winds to left field have gone over 53.5% of the time since 2005 per Bet Labs, but there’ been no ballpark more profitable in that spot than Comerica, where overs have gone 60-32-9 (65.2%).

Perhaps with that in mind, or perhaps with Gregory Soto’s ERA north of 15 in mind (it’s hard to say for sure), sharp bettors have steamed the over/under, which opened at 9.5 this morning, up to 10.

Detroit has had some legitimate struggles containing Houston’s bats this week, allowing 7 dongs and 19 runs over the first two games of the series.

It may be a little unfair to judge Soto by his 15.75 ERA considering he’s had only one start that lasted four innings this year. In fact, the Tigers may not mind rolling him out tonight, as he’s allowed a minuscule 0.24 HR/9 in over 450 minor league innings. He’s also posted a god ugly 5.3 walks per nine, which could mean trouble against the ‘Stros. There’s a reason Fangraphs’ prospect rating for him is 35+ on a 20-80 scale.

Lest we not forget about aforementioned future Hall of Famer, though. While Verlander is obviously a dominant stud who could very well punch out 10+ Tigers tonight, he’s always been a bit prone to give up the long ball. While his ex-teammate and current free agent, Dallas Keuchel, was a master of inducing ground balls, Verlander is anything but.

Since 2015, Verlander has the fourth-highest fly-ball rate of 181 qualified pitchers in the majors. The Tigers and their 29th-ranked 33 homers this year aren’t a squad that is guaranteed to take advantage of Verlander’s fly ball rate, but if there’s any night to do it, it’s this one.