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Tigers vs. Rangers Odds, Predictions, Preview: Bet Thursday’s Underdog? (July 22)

Tigers vs. Rangers Odds, Predictions, Preview: Bet Thursday’s Underdog? (July 22) article feature image

Ron Jenkins/Getty Images. Pictured: Mike Foltynewicz.

  • Texas and Detroit close out their four-game series Thursday afternoon at Comerica Park.
  • The Tigers are favorites, but is there enough going for the Rangers to take them as an underdog?
  • MLB betting analyst Jeff Hicks breaks down how he's playing the game between to sub-.500 clubs.

Rangers vs. Tigers Odds

Rangers Odds +100
Tigers Odds -120
Over/Under 9.5
Time Thursday, 1:10 p.m. ET
TV MLB Network
Odds as of Wednesday and via DraftKings

The baseball gods have decided to turn their backs on the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers Thursday. Heading into Wednesday night’s game, the Tigers had outscored the Rangers 18-1, and the Rangers had not scored more than one run since July 16 and two runs since July 10. Detroit was coming off a sweep of the Minnesota Twins, which had swept the Tigers the series prior.

Both teams are an adventure.

The Tigers took two of three from the Rangers in Arlington earlier in July, scoring five-plus runs in each game and outscoring the Rangers 17-16.

Will there be enough in favor of the Rangers to take them at +100? Will the season series continue to be a scoring fest? Let’s break down the teams.

Foltynewicz is Having Nightmare Season

The Rangers have offensive issues, nothing new. Those issues carry onto the road, including against left-handed pitchers like Tigers starter Tyler Alexander. Texas has an 84 wRC+ against lefties in road games, 22nd in baseball. There is a glimmer of hope against the soft-tossing southpaw. Texas is 12th in Hard Hit rate but only has the 22nd-ranked BABIP. Combine those numbers with an acceptable 22.3% strikeout rate, and there is an avenue for positive regression on offense.

Texas can use Detroit’s cavernous outfield to their advantage with 18 of their 30 home runs against left-handers coming in road games.

The Rangers could also use a solid start from Mike Foltynewicz. The former All-Star has had his worst Strikeouts Per 9 and Home Runs Per 9 rates in his career (3 1/3 innings pitched in 2020 were omitted) and is allowing his most flyballs since 2015.

Foltynewicz has an 8.10 road ERA and is allowing opposing hitters to slash .314/.356/.645. There is not much else to say for the beleaguered pitcher. He has his work cut out for him, even against a mediocre Tigers offense.

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Tigers Have Advantages in Home Park

Detroit’s inability to turn veteran players into prospects has stunted the growth of the team, especially on offense. The Tigers are tied for the fourth-worst home wRC+ against right-handed pitchers and are 20th or worst in every advanced category on FanGraphs except BABIP.

That would have been a positive for the offense if it was. Their strong Line Drive and Medium Hit percentages play in their park, but it does not guarantee base hits and home runs; only five teams have a lower Hard Hit rate at home against righties.

Aside from Akil Baddoo and Jonathan Schoop, the Tigers offense has been bland, and Schoop should be moved before the July 31 trade deadline.

Detroit’s pitching has shown promise, but not from Tyler Alexander. That is okay considering his expected numbers are not far off from his 4.40 ERA. Alexander is more efficient at home, facing 23 fewer batters in 2 1/3 fewer innings. That has also led to a 3.98 home ERA, 0.78 runs below his road ERA.

If Alexander can neutralize Texas’ right-handed hitters, he is in much better shape to get a win. He allows a .114/.111/.114 slash line to lefties compared to .375/.423/.646 against righties; he has faced 16 more right-handed hitters than left-handed.

Rangers-Tigers Pick

I cannot find a way to bet the Rangers at +100. The variables on offense and the inadequacy of Foltynewicz make Texas too shaky to consider.

The Rangers also only have 13 road wins (3rd fewest in MLB) and 13 wins in 36 day games. Detroit is four games over .500 at home, and while bad during day games, is only four games under .500 in 44 contests. Detroit with little juice feels a lot better.

Pick: Tigers ML (-120, bet to -125)

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