If you are like me you are just waiting for the Detroit Tigers to wakeup and realize they are the best team in the AL Central.
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Detroit Tigers (26-31) vs Cincinnati Reds (31-24)
Friday June 8
The Great American Ballpark – Cincinnati, OH
Moneyline: Cincinnati-140, Detroit +125
They are entering this second leg of interleague play off a win against division rival Cleveland but the team has been struggling going 3-7 in their last 10. They won 2 of 3 against Pittsburgh, who is a surprising second in the NL Central. This time around interleague play offers up the Reds, the division best team.
The Tigers are really struggling on the mound with the league’s 25th ranked ERA. Even Justin Verlander hasn’t been himself lately. Friday starter Rick Porcello is still very young but he is in his fourth year now and isn’t really showing much skill development. He is also burning the Tigers bullpen. Only 3 times in 11 starts has he worked more than 6 innings (none since May 1). The bullpen hasn’t been backing him up well either.
The Reds are in first place in the NL Central but are using a different formula than expected. In their bandbox ballpark it was expected that this team would mash opponents into submission. They are just in the middle of the pack in runs scored but they do have the 7th best ERA in the majors. The starters have been OK but it is the bullpen that has dominated, led by the nearly unhittable Aroldis Chapman.
Starter Bronson Arroyo seems to never dominate but keeps the team in the game. This team is better at home (16-10) and Arroyo’s splits are similar. Everyone loves to see Chapman deal and I look forward to seeing him square off against the Tigers top lefty Prince Fielder. Chapman has struck out the slugger 3 times in 5 ABs. Cincinnati looks to keep their interleague success going, they took 2 of three from the Yankees last month.
O/U Pick: Over
Score Prediction: Cincinnati 6 – Detroit 5