Tigers vs Guardians Odds, Picks | MLB Betting Prediction for Monday, May 8
Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images. Pictured: Tanner Bibee.
- The Cleveland Guardians host the Detroit Tigers on Monday at Progressive Field in an American League Central showdown.
- Cleveland and Detroit have struggled offensively this season, and that could continue in the series opener.
- Continue reading for our Tigers vs. Guardians preview and betting pick on the total.
Tigers vs. Guardians Odds
-114 / -106
-114 / -106
One of the most surprising stories to start the season has been the struggles of the Cleveland Guardians. They sit two games below .500 and are second in the American League Central, four games out of a wild-card spot.
The good news is they play in what’s been the worst division in baseball. The AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins are just 2 1/2 games up and have the worst record of all division leaders. Sitting a half-game behind the Guardians are the Detroit Tigers. They enter the week with wins five in their last six games and took two of three from Cleveland three weeks ago.
Below, I break down the Tigers vs. Guardians series opener at Progressive Field on Monday and provide a betting pick.
Tanner Bibee, Cleveland’s No. 5 prospect and No. 57 overall (per MLB Pipeline), will make his third career start. He is considered one of the Guardians’ “big-three” pitching prospects along with Gavin Williams and Daniel Espino.
In typical Guardians fashion, the organization tweaked Bibee’s delivery and pitch mix throughout his time in the Minors and saw tremendous results. His fastball went from hovering around 90-93 mph when he was drafted to averaging more than 95 mph, sometimes touching 99 with carry.
Bibee also throws a terrific sweeping slider, his best strikeout out pitch, and occasionally mixes in a curveball and changeup. In two starts, he’s allowed just three runs in 11 innings while striking out 13. He has an xERA of 2.04, which is on par with the league’s top arms.
Cleveland has a history of developing pitchers better than any other team in the league, meaning Bibee could be a star. The team’s main issues this year have come at the plate.
Only two teams have scored fewer runs than the Guardians this season. They haven’t shown much power either, with just 18 homers — the fewest in the Majors. They are last in wOBA and wRC+ and Jose Ramirez is the only player on the team with a wRC+ above 100.
Joey Wentz was a top-10 prospect for Detroit back in 2020 and 2021. However, Tommy John surgery and inconsistency have caused his stock to drop. A shoulder injury caused Wentz to miss two months last season and resulted in him playing just 14 games in the Minors and seven games in the Majors.
In seven big-league starts last season, Wentz did well. He had a 3.03 ERA and 3.62 xERA, allowing 11 earned runs in 32 2/3 innings before getting hurt. In six starts this year, he has struggled. The left-hander has a 6.67 ERA, but his 4.85 xERA indicates he could be due for positive regression.
The biggest issue has been control. In those seven starts last season, Wentz allowed 13 walks; in his six outings this year, he’s walked 10. He has alternated blowup games this season, allowing five runs in every other start, including his last outing.
I mentioned above that only two teams have scored fewer runs than Cleveland this season — Detroit is one of those teams. The Tigers average just 3.6 runs per game. They rank 29th in wOBA and 28th in wRC+ and don’t have one regular with a wRC+ over 107.
Tigers vs. Guardians Betting Pick
These teams have the worst offenses in baseball this year:
Runs: 122 for Cleveland (28th); 121 for Detroit (29th)
wRC+: 82 for Detroit (28th); 76 for Cleveland (30th)
wOBA: .288 for Detroit (29th); .282 for Cleveland (30th)
Both will also be facing their worse splits — Detroit against a right-handed pitcher and Cleveland against a left-handed pitcher.
Ramirez is the only hitter on either team with a wRC+ above 110, but he has been horrific against left-handed pitching this year, hitting just .146 with a wRC+ of 12. Only 13 qualified batters have been worse against lefties.
Bibee has looked fantastic to start his career and has the type of high-upside stuff that should allow him to mow down a Detroit lineup that has the fourth-highest strikeout rate.
Wentz should see positive regression with a 4.85 xERA that’s nearly two full runs better than his actual ERA. He has been able to alternate his blowup starts with better ones, with his earned run totals going 3, 5, 1, 5, 2, 5. If that pattern continues, he should bounce back and be better on Monday.
Cleveland has been the most profitable team to the under this year with a record of 22-11-1. The under has cashed in seven straight Guardians games and 16 of the last 18. In the three games these teams played last month, all went under the total with an average of 4.3 runs per game.
Bet on these offenses to continue struggling against a pair of young arms.
Pick: Under 8 (-110)
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