MLB Odds & Picks for Tigers vs. Guardians: How to Bet This AL Central Duel (Saturday, July 16)

MLB Odds & Picks for Tigers vs. Guardians: How to Bet This AL Central Duel (Saturday, July 16) article feature image

Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Riley Greene & Victor Reyes (Tigers)

  • The Tigers and Guardians square off in an AL Central clash that has gone Cleveland's way in the first two games of this series.
  • Despite both teams having weak overall offenses, the over has hit in three of the last four meetings.
  • Alex Hinton is targeting the over again.

Tigers vs. Guardians Odds

Tigers Odds+140
Guardians Odds-165
Time4:10 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Last week, the Detroit Tigers added some fireworks to what's been a disappointing season thus far by completing a four-game sweep of the Cleveland Guardians at home.

It began the Tigers' longest winning streak of the season, which got up to six games.

This time around, the AL Central rivals are playing four in Cleveland. The Guardians have taken the first two games in this series, including a 6-5 come-from-behind win last night.

Thus far, the Tigers lead the season series 7-4, which is a change from recent years.

Tigers Finally Getting More Offense

Tigers center fielder Riley Greene is beginning to show why he's ranked as the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball. Last night, he went 2-for-5 with a double and a home run.

Over his last seven games, the 21-year-old is hitting .286 with a .784 OPS. Greene has a .488 xSLG and ranks in the 83rd percentile in Exit Velocity this season.

The Tigers have moved Greene into the lead-off spot to spark what has been a dormant offense this season.

The Tigers rank dead last in runs scored and 27th in team batting average. They average 3.16 runs per game, but have seen that uptick to 3.88 this month, which includes 5.5 runs per game against the Guardians.

Utility man Harold Castro is hitting .440 with a 1.120 OPS against the Guardians this season. The great Miguel Cabrera may not be the power hitter he was, but he's still hitting .286, in addition to being 6-for-9 against Cal Quantrill.

Michael Pineda will get the start for the Tigers, and he's 2-4 with a 3.58 ERA this season.

However, the advanced metrics tell a different story.

Pineda has a 6.46 xERA, .324 xBA, .403 xOBA and .612 xSLG. He also has 12.5% strikeout rate and 43.3% Hard Hit Percentage, and has allowed a 92 mph Exit Velocity. Pineda ranks at the bottom of the league in all categories. He could have a rough outing against the Guardians.

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Guardians Match Up Well Against Pineda

The Guardians are led by third baseman Jose Ramirez, who has looked like an MVP candidate for much of the first half. However, he's slowed down of late. He's hitting .232 with one home run and seven runs batted over his last 15 games.

That coincides with the Guardians' slide of late. Cleveland is 6-10 in the month of July and averaging 3.56 runs per game.

Shortstop Amed Rosario has tried to pick up the slack, as he's hitting .407 over the last seven games.

The Guardians do match up favorably with Pineda, however. Ramirez, Rosario, Myles Straw and Luke Maile are all hitting .300 or better against Pineda in a minimum of five at-bats.

Quantrill gets the start for the Guardians, and he's 4-0 with a 3.54 ERA at home this season. However, he has a 4.73 xERA, .285 xBA and .488 xSLG.

He's allowed nine earned runs in 10 innings in his last two starts, including six against the Tigers.

Tigers-Guardians Pick

The Tigers and Guardians are two struggling offenses. However, against each other, runs have been flowing.

The over has hit in three of the last four meetings. That includes 15 runs in Quantrill's last start against the Tigers back on July 5. Drew Hutchison started that day for the Tigers, and the Guardians match up even better against Pineda. 

Pineda and Quantrill both pitch to contact and allow their defenses to make plays behind them. However, that can work to their disadvantage when a lot of them are hard-hit balls.

Pineda is among the worst starters in Hard Hit Rate Allowed and Exit Velocity, while Quantrill is league average in both areas.

Neither Pineda, nor Quantrill, have overpowering stuff, so there will be a lot of traffic on the base paths in this game. It's just up to the Tigers and Guardians to cash in when they get their opportunities.

I expect that they will, in addition to cashing four out of five overs in this series.

Pick: Over 8.5

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