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Tigers vs. Dodgers Odds, Picks, Predictions: Can You Find Value With Big Favorite? (May 1)

Tigers vs. Dodgers Odds, Picks, Predictions: Can You Find Value With Big Favorite? (May 1) article feature image
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Emilee Chinn/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Walker Buehler

Tigers vs. Dodgers Odds

Tigers Odds +220
Dodgers Odds -260
Over/Under 7.5
Time 4:10 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

On Saturday, the Detroit Tigers handed the Dodgers a 5-1 defeat despite closing as high as a +315 underdog. Tigers starter Beau Briske pitched five innings and allowed one run before turning it over to a stellar Tigers bullpen that held the Dodgers scoreless for the remainder of the game.

The Dodgers certainly won’t be happy after being held to just one run in the contest. While it’s still anyone’s ballgame with the series now tied, I’ll explore whether we can expect a bounce-back effort from the Dodgers in this spot.

Tigers Offense Struggling Mightily

Detroit’s victory brought an end to a six-game losing streak. It was a rare occasion where the Tigers got some decent starting pitching. Per FanGraphs, Detroit’s starters rank 25th with a 4.57 ERA. The offense has also struggled at times, as Saturday’s game was just the fourth time this season that the Tigers scored more than four runs.

Run creation has been a problem for the Tigers as they rank 25th with an underwhelming wRC+ value of 88. What’s even more concerning is that Detroit is dead last in league with a .083 ISO. However, if their bats can finally awaken from their slumber, Detroit will have an even better chance to play closer to .500 baseball.

In the series finale, the Tigers will turn to their left-handed starter, Eduardo Rodríguez. Rodríguez is 0-1 with a 5.03 ERA. His advanced numbers are somewhat split, considering his 5.58 xERA and 4.17xFIP. However, his 1.27 WHIP does provide some promise.

Rodríguez has struggled with the long ball, evidenced by his 1.37 HR/9 ratio. He’s allowed one home run in each of his past three games. There are some positives as he recorded a quality start in each of his last two outings.

Rodríguez completed six innings while allowing three runs on each occasion. While his improvement certainly bodes well for Detroit, the Tigers will need to get more consistency out of their offense if they plan to turn things around.

How Can You Find Value on the Dodgers? 

You’ll have to pick your spots if you plan on backing the Dodgers this season. Despite a 13-7 record, the Dodgers’ bettors have a slight deficit of 0.46 units. Yesterday’s loss was quite the setback, with Los Angeles as high as a -400 favorite.

While the Dodgers won’t care about their closing odds, they will be concerned with scoring just one run in the game. Clayton Kershaw did his part with six innings of one-run ball. However, the bullpen couldn’t match Kershaw’s effort as they surrendered three runs as soon as he departed from the game. A rare blip from a bullpen ranks third with a 2.55 ERA.

The Dodgers’ starters have done the job this season as they lead the majors with a 2.10 ERA. Walker Buehler is slated to pitch on Sunday after a complete game and three-hit shutout in his last outing. This season, Buehler is 2-1 with a 2.55 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. While those numbers are promising, his advanced stats point to some regression, given his 3.90 xERA and 3.73 xFIP.

One thing that does jump out to me is the slight decline in Buehler’s strikeouts. He has a 7.66 K/9 ratio, down from 9.19 K/9 in 2021. Moreover, according to FanGraphs Statcast, opposing hitters have a 38% hard-hit rate against Buehler, which would qualify as the highest of his career.

Thus, it’s fair to say that there are some potential warning signs with Buehler this season. However, it would be a tall ask to bank on the Tigers having back-to-back quality offensive performances at the plate.

Tigers-Dodgers Pick

Detroit is a team I’ll be looking to keep an eye on if it can produce a bit more offensively. Yet, I’m not sure I can fully trust these Tigers in a possible letdown spot.

The Dodgers are again a heavy favorite, as high as -275. As a result, I don’t see much value in playing them on the money line. Instead, it might make more sense to back Los Angeles on the five-inning run line if we expect a response from Saturday’s result.

The Dodgers are on a 7-0 run against the spread (+7.21 units) in the first five innings, coming off a game where they scored no more than one run.

Generally, when I play a first five-run line, I’m looking for a spread of 0.5 runs. Unfortunately, the best spread I can find in the market is DraftKings listing the Dodgers at -1 (-110).

As a result, I can only lean to the Dodgers in this spot because a one-run lead would only guarantee a push at the current spread.

Lean: Dodgers F5 RL -1 (-110)

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