MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Rockies vs. Tigers Game 1 Betting Preview (April 23)
Duane Burleson/Getty Images. Pictured: Miguel Cabrera
- The Rockies and Tigers play Game 1 of a doubleheader this afternoon as Miguel Cabrera searches for his 3,000th career hit.
- Antonio Senzatela takes the mound for Colorado against Detroit's young hurler, Tarik Skubal.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of the matchup, including a betting pick.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally written in advance of Friday’s game between the Rockies and Tigers, which was postponed because of rain.
Rockies vs. Tigers Game 1 Odds
|Over/Under||7.5 (-120 / +100)|
|Time||1:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
Fresh off a series victory against the Phillies, the Colorado Rockies roll into Detroit for a three-game set. Colorado has gotten off to a hot start and certainly took advantage of its extended homestand here in the early going.
However, the same cannot be said for the Detroit Tigers. A flurry of offseason moves created some optimism around the organization, which has not been there for quite some time. Although, a 4-7 start that includes a streak of subpar offensive displays has caused Tigers faithful to pump the breaks on expectations.
While the hype surrounding the Tigers as a whole has diminished a bit, this matchup is must-see TV for all fans. Future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera is one hit away from 3,000 for his career. This accolade would only add to an already impressive career resume and further cement his place amongst the game’s all-time greats.
Can Miggy’s 3,000th hit make an impact behind one of the best up-and-coming starters in the league?
Rockies Bats Leave Coors for Tough Test
As I mentioned in the open, the Rockies offense has enjoyed their most recent homestand, with multiple key hitters off to hot starts. While Coors Field is the best hitting environment in the league, Colorado also benefited from playing its only two road games at Globe Life Field, another great hitters park.
In this matchup, the park may play to the righties in their lineup, but mother nature has plans of her own. There is a chance of light rain throughout the game with the wind blowing in from left field.
After an up-and-down rookie campaign, Tarik Skubal has appeared to make some strides through two starts. We have seen two very different outings from Skubal this season, as he got knocked around by the White Sox but then responded by dominating the Royals.
Overall, there are some encouraging signs in Skubal’s performance thus far. He has an incredible strikeout-to-walk ratio and has a hard-hit rate below league average.
The improvement in command is his biggest step as the once highly touted prospect has always had major league stuff. Not executing with it has hurt him in the past, although that looks to be long gone as his walk rate is in the 90th percentile.
With the elements in his favor and the Rockies bats due to crash back down to earth away from Coors, it shouldn’t be a surprise if Skubal builds on his last outing.
Tigers’ Bats Poised to Wake Up
Detroit’s offense has been dreadful to begin the season as they are hitting just .207 as a team and are 23rd in the league in wRC+. To make matters worse, their star shortstop, Javier Báez, is on the injured list with a thumb injury.
Despite their woes, the Tigers still have plenty of firepower in this lineup and are in a great spot to jump on Rockies starter Antonio Senzatela whose peripheral numbers look great. He’ll enter this start 1-0 with a 2.16 ERA, but his expected stats tell a much different story.
Senzatela has not missed many bats as his whiff and strikeout rate are both in the bottom 6% of the league. He’s been a wizard when it comes to working out of trouble, as his BABIP is .457, but he’s stranded over 70% of those baserunners.
A majority of the contact that he has allowed has not been soft by any means. He is in the bottom 2% of qualified pitchers in xERA, xwOBA and xBA. The expected ERA tells of just how lucky he has been, as his 2.16 ERA should be over ten when you calculate all the other factors.
This Tigers lineup may be missing Báez, but the combination of Cabrera, Austin Meadows and Spencer Torkelson has proven to be productive. They each have a hard hit rate over 42% with xwOBAs over .348. Other hitters like Jonathan Schoop and Jeimer Candelario have yet to break out, but a matchup against Senzatela may be just what they need.
On paper, this may look like a matchup between a team that is hot and one that is not. However, the deeper you dig, the more you see how the market is correct here.
Detroit is in a great spot to bounce back off their series loss to New York as Senzatela is more than due to give up some runs, and the Rockies lineup will not be as formidable on the road here.
Back the Tiger’s here and cheer along when Miggy’s 3,000th hit helps us get to the window.
Pick: Tiger ML -140 (play to -145)