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Rangers vs. Tigers MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Back Better Offensive Team in Detroit (Saturday, June 18)

Rangers vs. Tigers MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Back Better Offensive Team in Detroit (Saturday, June 18) article feature image
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Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images. Pictured: Marcus Semien & Zach Reks (Rangers)

Rangers vs. Tigers Odds

Rangers Odds -125
Tigers Odds +105
Over/Under 8.5
Time 4:10 p.m. ET
TV FS1
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Detroit Tigers are struggling mightily right now. Detroit is 24-40 overall this season, which has it sitting in fourth place in the AL Central. The Tigers’ offense is dead last in the American League in runs, as they’re the only team in the league yet to score 200 runs this season (169).

The Tigers have lost six games in a row, but they’ve also scored just two runs in their last four games — which ties their lowest output in a four-game span since 1976.

The Texas Rangers aren’t world beaters, but at 31-33 overall, they’re nearly a .500 team that is also in second place in their division. The Rangers had no problem dispatching the Tigers last night (7-0) even with Detroit’s ace, Tarik Skubal, on the mound.

Can the Tigers get back in the win column this afternoon?

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Rangers Have Advantage Against Garcia

24-year-old Rony Garcia will start for the Tigers. Garcia started the season in the bullpen, but has since made four starts in the rotation. He has a 5.06 ERA, 3.99 xFIP, 27% K%, 6% BB% and 31% ground-ball percentage.

Garcia’s starts have been a bit of a mixed bag. He went five innings and allowed just two earned runs against the Yankees on the road, and he struck out seven Twins in five innings. He also allowed six earned runs to the Twins in that start, and in his last start against the White Sox, he allowed four runs in four innings.

Garcia simply allows too many fly balls to be counted on for a quality start here. He’s allowed at least one home run in each of his four starts, and including relief appearances, he’s allowed at least one home run in six straight appearances.

Garcia is allowing 50% fly balls to left-handed hitters this year, as well as a .188 ISO.

Against lefties, Garcia will rely on his changeup, which he throws 27% of the time to left-handed batters. Rangers left-handed hitters Nathaniel Lowe, Brad Miller and Jonah Heim all crush change-ups from right-handed pitchers. Over the last three seasons, all of them have an ISO above .200 against that pitch.


Offensive Help on Way for Tigers

While the Tigers badly need to break out of their offensive slump, help is here in the form of top prospect Riley Greene. Detroit would’ve had Greene in its lineup already, but a fractured foot in spring training delayed his arrival.

A new centerfielder doesn’t erase the fact that the Tigers have scored one run in their last 35 innings, or that they haven’t had a run-scoring hit since Monday.

The Tigers have been outscored 43-7 during their six-game losing streak and 54-11 during their eight-game homestand.

While the Tigers’ offense is desperate to score some runs, this is a pretty good matchup to take advantage of against Taylor Hearn. Hearn has a 5.37 ERA, 5.44 xFIP, 19% K%, 10% BB% and 38% ground-ball percentage this year.

His ERA is high, but Hearn doesn’t typically have disaster starts, as he’s allowed more than four earned runs in a game just once in 12 starts this season. Hearn hasn’t allowed a home run in this last three starts and has allowed more than three earned runs just once in his last six starts.

Since the beginning of last season, Javier Baez and Eric Haase each have ISOs above .200 against left-handed pitching. Hearn has allowed a .176 ISO to right-handed hitters since the start of last year.

Rangers-Tigers Pick

It’s very difficult to trust the Tigers’ offense right now — even with the call-up of Greene. With the over/under on this game being nine, I think we have to back the team with the better offense, and that’s definitely the Rangers right now.

It’s not like Detroit has the starting pitching advantage here either, as Hearn vs. Garcia is basically a toss up.

The Tigers even had a hiccup with their typically steady bullpen on Thursday, as closer Gregory Soto blew the save against the Rangers.

I think there’s value on both the spread and the moneyline, but I’m going to play it safe with Rangers moneyline at -120 on DraftKings.

Pick: Rangers ML -120

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