Tigers vs Guardians Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Expert Picks for Tuesday, May 9
Via Duane Burleson/Getty Images. Pictured: Spencer Torkelson #20 of the Detroit Tigers bats against the New York Mets during game two of a doubleheader at Comerica Park on May 3, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan.
- The Tigers head to Cleveland with momentum, but can Shane Bieber and the Guardians bring them back reality?
- Or, on the other hand, is there value in backing the Tigers bats even with Tigers starter Michael Lorenzen's inconsistency?
- Doug Ziefel breaks down the matchup and shares his betting pick below.
Tigers vs. Guardians Odds
-104 / -118
Believe it or not, the Detroit Tigers come into this matchup on fire, as they have won seven of their last 10 games. In the opening game of this series, they jumped on rookie Tanner Bibee early and never relinquished the lead.
However, tonight the difficulty will be turned up a couple of notches as Shane Bieber will take the ball for the Cleveland Guardians. Bieber enters this outing with a 2.96 ERA and 1.07 WHIP, but are his numbers deceiving?
As for Tigers starter Michael Lorenzen, he comes into this start off a tremendous outing against the Mets. He threw seven innings of one-run ball en route to his first victory of the year.
However, his four starts this season have had varied amounts of success. The version we get of him tonight could decide the ball game.
So, what’s the best way to play Game 2 of this series? Let’s take a closer look to find out.
Baseball is a very streaky sport, and the Tigers are proof that anyone can get hot at any moment. Detroit’s run has been spurred by their lineup.
Over the last week, the Tigers rank 10th in wRC+ and 11th in wOBA. Compare that to ranking 28th in wRC+ and wOBA on the season, and you see their hot streak as an outlier.
While they are certainly due to regress, tonight may not be the night despite facing Shane Bieber. Upon a closer look at Bieber, he has been very fortunate to have the stat line he does.
Shockingly, Bieber ranks in the bottom 10 percent of all qualified pitchers in Average Exit Velocity Allowed and Hard-hit Rate. He also has not been missing bats, as his Strikeout and Whiff Rates are amongst the bottom 20 percent of the league.
That amount of hard contact and inability to miss bats is screaming regression, and this hot Tigers lineup is the team to deliver it.
Though we think of the Tigers’ order as one of the worst lineups in baseball, the Guardians actually have one of the few batting orders with the numbers to lay claim to that. Cleveland enters this matchup last in the majors in wOBA and wRC+.
However, this could be one matchup where the Guardians plate some runs, as they are due for some sizable positive regression offensively. First, they are not a team that strikes out, holding the fourth-lowest Strikeout Rate in the majors.
So their issues have stemmed from poor contact and bad luck. Their expected stats display this well as their team batting average is .223, but their xBA is .250. That is the biggest expected batting average differential in the majors.
In addition to their own positive regression, the Guardians have a good matchup tonight against Michael Lorenzen. I mentioned that Lorenzen’s starts had been very Jekyll and Hyde; well, that trend points to a rough outing.
Aside from small sample size trends, Lorenzen has been hit hard this season overall. His Average Exit Velocity and Hard-Hit Rate both rank in the bottom half of the league, and he’s not missing bats either.
Tigers vs. Guardians Betting Pick
Looking at the markets for this matchup, oddsmakers are siding with the larger sample sizes as the total is low, and the Guardians are significant favorites. However, much of the data points in the opposite direction, and that’s where the value lies.
Shane Bieber is due to be hit around, and this Tigers team is seeing the ball way too well to be fooled by someone who isn’t striking batters out like he used to. As for the Guardians, they are overdue to have the ball bounce their way a few times and should make some loud contact against Lorenzen.
Consequently, I’m fading both starters by taking the over in the first five, as the juice is worth the squeeze.
Pick: F5 Over 3.5 (-130)
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