After an 8-game winning streak beginning in the end of April, the Detroit Tigers were tamed by two of the weaker teams in baseball over the last few days. Detroit has dropped three of its last four versus the Houston Astros and the Minnesota Twins and will begin a three-game set against Baltimore beginning Monday. Rick Porcello takes the ball against Bud Norris for the O’s. The game is an essential pick’em with a total of 9.0 runs.
Just a few years ago, Rick Porcello was nothing more than a filler at the back end of Detroit’s rotation. A young arm with decent stuff, Porcello showed promise to grow into a bigger role, but wasn’t capable of going deep into games and shutting down opponent offenses. Now, in 2014, Porcello has grown into that larger role that people around the Detroit Tigers envisioned when he began his career. And after a phenomenal 2013 season, Porcello has picked right back up where he left off.
The 25-year-old has earned a decision in each of his six starts this season, going 5-1 with his only loss coming in Interleague play at San Diego. Porcello’s command has been impeccable with just six walks in as many starts compared to 27 strikeouts. The low walk rate has Porcello’s WHIP at 1.06 and he should continue throwing the ball with extreme confidence tomorrow when his Tigers take on Baltimore. The Orioles’ offense has been extremely underwhelming, despite the same star power it carried in its strong 2013 campaign. The productivity and health of Chris Davis has a lot to do with that.
Meanwhile, the Tigers get a crack at Bud Norris, who has gone 7 innings just once this season. Norris has thrown the ball a whole lot better in his last three starts – surrendering three runs or less in each start. But Norris will struggle to consistently keep the Tigers at bay. He gives up nearly a hit per inning and hasn’t displayed a whole lot of reason to believe he will shut down one of baseball’s best offenses. Detroit wins this one and Porcello improves to 6-1 on the season.
Free Pick: Detroit -109
2014 YTD: 12-6 +4.74