Wednesday MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Tigers vs. Cardinals: Detroit’s Lineup, Starting Pitcher Gives Visitors Edge (August 25)
Steven King/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Tarik Skubal.
- Detroit and St. Louis finish their two-game series Wednesday afternoon at Busch Stadium.
- The Cardinals are still in NL wild-card contention but have a significant starting pitcher disadvantage.
- DJ James explains below why he expects the Tigers to win with Tarik Skubal on the mound.
Tigers vs. Cardinals Odds
|Time||1:15 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Tuesday and via DraftKings.|
The Detroit Tigers managed to move themselves into second place of the American League Central in mid-August but have since fallen back behind the Cleveland Indians, currently residing 12 games back of the first-place Chicago White Sox.
Tarik Skubal has been one of their young breakthrough candidates in the rotation. The 24-year-old southpaw faces Jon Lester of the St. Louis Cardinals, who is at the polar opposite end of his career. Who has the advantage between the two? Will the Cardinals remain in striking distance of the second wild card in the National League?
Will Skubal’s Strong Month Continue for Tigers?
Tarik Skubal has been tremendous in August. He holds a 1.02 ERA and WHIP in 17 2/3 innings of work. He has an above-average walk and strikeout percentage, but his other peripherals are a tad concerning. That said, his recent trend should be able to hold against the average St. Louis Cardinals lineup.
The Tigers have some notable injuries. Niko Goodrum and Eric Haase are both sidelined for the time being, so this puts a damper on the Tigers offense. Haase has been one of their best bats against lefties this season, but in August, Victor Reyes, Robbie Grossman, Willi Castro, Jeimer Candelario and Jonathan Schoop boast above-average wRC+ while facing lefties.
This has been the main source of their offense in the last few weeks. Miguel Cabrera is also slugging .500 in the last week, so that provides the Detroit offense about six competent bats.
Detroit’s bullpen has been the crux of the team. However, they do hold a 3.54 combined ERA since the deadline, so they should have enough artillery to go against the Cards on Wednesday afternoon.
José Cisnero has a 1.80 ERA in that timeframe. Kyle Funkhauser, Michael Fulmer and Derek Holland have also thrown well. This should come in handy if Skubal struggles early.
Cardinals Bullpen May Be Called Upon Early
For the Cardinals, Jon Lester holds a 7.08 ERA in his four starts. Do not expect that trajectory to change much because the Tigers have a 132 wRC+ off of lefties in August. That should continue in this outing because Lester does not look like he is righting the ship any time soon.
The Tigers strike out at a 25.6% clip against lefties this season, and Lester ranks in the second percentile in strikeout percentage. This would probably work to his advantage, but with a subpar chase rate, there is not much he will be able to do.
The Cardinals have hit lefties well in August. They rank fifth in wRC+ in August, so they are not too far behind Detroit. They do have a completely healthy lineup, and Tyler O’Neill and Dylan Carlson have put together incredible performances lately.
St. Louis ranks near the bottom of the league (24th) in home runs. Typically that might improve against Skubal, as he does struggle allowing hard hit balls. That said, he has only provided an opponent with a homer once in his last three starts.
Finally, the St. Louis bullpen is pretty strong. They are a top-10 bullpen in the league and have plenty of firepower late in games. Funny enough, Alex Reyes has been one of their weaker arms since the trade deadline, but they do not have many weaknesses otherwise. They will need to be ready to come into relief early if Detroit jumps on Lester, though.
Detroit has a clear advantage between starters and their lineup. Skubal has pitched well this month, and Lester is on his last legs. St. Louis may have the advantage with the bullpen, but other than that, the edge lies with the Tigers.
Pick: Detroit Tigers +135, play to +105