Tigers vs. Red Sox Odds
|Red Sox Odds||-190|
|Time||Tuesday, 7:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of 10 a.m. ET on Tuesday and via BetMGM|
The Detroit Tigers (8-21) will look to improve on their MLB-worst record when they head to Fenway Park to take on the Boston Red Sox (17-12) on Tuesday night.
The Tigers are coming off a 2-0 loss to the New York Yankees in which Detroit was held to just two hits after a strong performance from Corey Kluber, while the Red Sox are coming off a 5-3 loss of their own to the Texas Rangers. In that outing, Boston was paced by strong offensive performances from Xander Bogaerts and Alex Verdugo.
These teams have struggled at the plate of-late — will we see them finally break out, or will we see another underwhelming offensive performance from both sides?
Michael Fulmer will take the hill for the Tigers after a tough relief outing against the White Sox on Thursday, when he allowed four hits and two earned runs in just two innings pitched.
Fulmer has spent time both as a starter and reliever this season and has generally been successful. Over 21 innings pitched, he’s compiled a 3.83 xFIP and struck out opposing batters at a strong 8.57 K/9 clip. He’s also been relatively successful at limiting the long ball, allowing an average of 1.29 HR/9. That said, he hasn’t pitched more than five innings in any appearance this season.
While the Red Sox have been relatively strong against right-handed pitching overall on the season thus far (.332 wOBA), they’ve struggled to score runs of-late. Over their past five games, they’ve averaged just 3.4 runs per game, well below their season-long average of 4.75 runs.
Even if Fulmer can give the Tigers five solid innings, they’ll have to turn to a bullpen that has been one of the worst in baseball so far this season. Over 92 2/3 innings, the Tigers bullpen has collectively pitched to a 4.69 xFIP (27th in MLB) and allowed 1.94 HR/9 (30th in MLB).
Boston Red Sox
Nick Pivetta will make the start for the Red Sox and is coming off his best start of the season. In that game, he pitched five shutout innings, allowing just one hit and no earned runs while striking out seven against the New York Mets.
While his 2.81 ERA thus far appears strong on paper, it’s actually quite misleading. When compared with his 4.98 xFIP — more than two full runs higher — we see that’s he’s actually been quite lucky thus far. His high 45.9% Hard Hit % (per Statcast) is also another leading indicator that his season numbers should actually be quite a bit higher than they currently are.
Lucky for him, the matchup doesn’t get much better than it does on Tuesday night. The Tigers have been one of the worst teams in baseball against right-handed pitching, hitting to a .275 wOBA, tied for the worst mark in all of baseball.
If he can limit the damage, he’ll hand the ball off to a Red Sox bullpen whose 3.57 xFIP is amongst the best in all of baseball.
Tigers-Red Sox Pick
While neither starting pitcher has been lights out of-late, I expect both to be able to keep the opposing offenses in check for this one.
For the Tigers, Fulmer has been able to limit the big inning this season and takes on a Red Sox team that has been inconsistent at best of-late, averaging just 3.4 runs per game over their last five.
While Pivetta’s advanced metrics suggest that he’s a candidate for some negative regression, he has a cake matchup against a Tigers team that has found very little success against right-handed pitching this season. They’ve also been anemic at the plate of-late, averaging just 1.5 runs per game over their past 10 contests. I don’t expect Pivetta to be lights out, but he can certainly handle these Tigers bats.
I’m taking the under here at the current number and would be comfortable playing it down to 8.5 runs. The poor play of the Tigers’ bullpen does add an extra element of risk, however, so I’m playing this at just a half unit tonight.
Pick: Under 9 (-110)