Detroit is coming off back-to-back wins. I’m selling high. Here’s why.
They defeated Dane Dunning, objectively one of the worst right-handed pitchers in the league, and Taylor Hearn, a mediocre lefty.
Both wins came at home, where the Tigers are known to play better. Even still, they failed to capitalize on their 10-game home stand, winning just 3 games.
Tonight, they hit the road where they’ve been absolutely abysmal. The team’s 8-18 road record is the worst in MLB, and it’s easily explained by lack of offense. They’re scoring just 2.19 runs per game away from Comerica Park, almost a full run less than the 2nd worst road team (Colorado at 3.03).
Putting home/road splits aside, Detroit also ranks near the bottom of almost every key performance indicator vs. Right-Handed Pitching. They knocked Dunning for 5 runs yesterday, but 3 of them came on a single swing — a 3-run home run in the 1st inning. Excluding that, the rest of their 7 hits on Sunday were all measly singles, underscoring why I’m not impressed.
Pitching for Boston tonight will be rookie Right-Hander Josh Wincowski, who pitched poorly in his MLB debut but bounced back strong in his 2nd outing, holding Oakland scoreless in 5 innings pitched last week. In media comments, Wincowski explained he was nervous for his debut but feels locked in after that last start. Confidence is key, and I like that he has it right now going into this softer matchup vs. Detroit.
I also like that rookie Alex Faedo will be pitching for Detroit tonight. He relies on a Fastball / Slider combo that the Red Sox lineup should thrive against. Faedo’s 4.28 ERA compares to a 4.91 expected ERA (as calculated by MLB Statcast). The difference indicates some negative regression could be imminent for him. It started to pull through in his last start (he allowed 9 hits and 7 runs in just 3 innings pitched), but the numbers I’m referencing suggest there’s still room to run. If Boston can plate 2+ runs off him early, I like their chances of winning the First 5 innings.
Also supporting this pick is the fact Boston is 38-29 against the First Five Innings Run Line this year. Factoring in odds, betting Red Sox F5 Run Line has generated a 7.86% ROI this year (4th best in MLB).
The opposite is true for Detroit, who are just 26-40 vs. the F5 Run Line with a -21.87% ROI. That’s especially bad considering they’re almost always the underdog with a +0.5 spread.
For all these reasons, I feel Boston deserves our bet to win the First 5 innings at -125. I wagered to win a unit at that price and would play this down to -140ish.