Rangers vs Tigers Odds, Prediction Thursday | MLB Picks Today (April 18)

Rangers vs Tigers Odds, Prediction Thursday | MLB Picks Today (April 18) article feature image

(Photo by Ben Ludeman/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) Pictured: Jack Leiter.

Rangers vs Tigers odds for Thursday, April 18, have Detroit listed as -120 favorites on the moneyline while the over/under is set at 8.5. For my Rangers vs Tigers prediction, I think there is more value in backing the underdog at +100.

Texas won two of the first three games of this series as it looks to continue to build momentum Thursday before heading to Atlanta. The pitching matchup features Jack Leiter for the Rangers and Kenta Maeda for the Tigers.

Let's dive into how I am betting Texas as I make a Rangers vs Tigers pick.

Tigers vs Rangers Odds, Prediction Today

Thursday, Apr 18
1:10pm ET
MLB Network
Rangers Odds
-105o / -115u
Tigers Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Check out our MLB Betting Hub for more previews from today's slate.

Texas Rangers

There is a lot of anticipation surrounding the Rangers on Thursday as highly-touted prospect and former No. 2 overall pick, right-hander Jack Leiter, is slated to make his MLB debut. Texas deemed it had seen enough from the start of his season down in AAA, where he went 1-1 with a 3.77 ERA and 0.98 WHIP through three appearances on the mound.

We should expect a strong debut from the Vanderbilt alum, but even if we don't get one, Leiter is likely to get plenty of run support to help him out. This season, the Rangers rank in the top 12 of the league in runs scored per game, hits per game, BA, OBP, SLG and OPS.

That success is likely to continue against Maeda. Through 46 career plate appearances against the veteran right-hander, this current Texas lineup boasts a .268 BA, .512 SLG and .358 wOBA.

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Detroit Tigers

Speaking of Maeda, he has gotten off to a terrible start this season with an 0-1 record and 6.00 ERA through three starts. His underlying metrics suggest that positive regression is unlikely as he ranks in the 33rd percentile or lower in both xERA and xBA.

Maeda has only faced the Rangers once over the past couple of seasons, but he allowed three runs on nine hits through five innings in that start en route to a 6-5 loss. Unlike Leiter's situation, Maeda may not get much run support to help him out if he is to struggle once again.

Entering this matchup, Detroit ranks in the bottom five of the league in runs scored per game, hits per game, BA, OBP, SLG, OPS and home runs. The Tigers' offense has gone particularly cold over the past week, averaging just 2.6 runs over their past five games.

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Rangers vs. Tigers

Betting Pick & Prediction

Even if Leiter doesn't live up to the hype in his debut — although I think he will — this Texas lineup is strong enough to bail him out either way. Also, I'm not sold that Leiter's floor is any worse than Maeda's current 6.00 ERA and 5.10 xERA.

Meanwhile, the hitting advantage clearly goes to the Rangers. That just leaves the bullpens, of which there is a slight edge to Detroit.

That is the most likely reason for catching +100 on Texas, but I will take that chance given the upside of Leiter's potential and the clear hitting advantage for the Rangers.

Pick: Rangers ML (+100 at Caesars | Play to -105)

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