Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#971 Los Angeles Angels 8.5 vs.
#972 Detroit Tigers -115
Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at 7:10pm EDT
Written by Chris Altruda

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Los Angeles Angels at Detroit Tigers

When and Where: Wednesday, May 8, Comerica Park, Detroit, Mich., 7:10 p.m. EDT.

Tyler Skaggs looks to win a third consecutive start Wednesday night when the Los Angeles Angels continue their three-game series versus the Detroit Tigers.

Is Skaggs turning corner for Halos?

Much was made about this being a make-or-break season for Skaggs (3-2, 3.12 ERA), and so far, he is making it just fine. The left-hander is trying to win three consecutive starts for only the second time in his career, with the other coming June 3-15.

Skaggs was effective Thursday versus Toronto, yielding two runs and four hits in six innings of a 6-2 victory. The left-hander has allowed more than two runs just once in his five starts, but he has pitched six or more innings in only two of them.

“I feel, mechanical-wise, I’m hitting my stride a little bit, but I still need to cut down on my walks,” Skaggs told the Angels’ official website.

He has split two decisions among three career starts against the Royals, posting a 3.24 ERA. Skaggs’ last matchup, however, was one to forget as he was tagged for five runs and six hits in five innings of a 9-3 defeat May 28.

Miguel Cabrera has given Skaggs problems in their limited matchups, going 4 for 6 with a homer and a double. Nicholas Castellanos is 2 for 3 versus the southpaw.

The Angels (16-19) welcomed back AL Rookie of the Year Shohei Ohtani to the lineup in Tuesday’s 5-2 win. The two-way Japanese star, who is playing only as a designated hitter for the immediate future after undergoing Tommy John surgery eight months ago, went 0-for-4 with an RBI batting in the No. 3 spot.

Boyd looks to get better of Skaggs again

Matthew Boyd (3-2, 3.05) beat Skaggs in that matchup last season and is looking for his third win in four starts for Detroit. The fellow left-hander turned in a solid outing versus Kansas City on Friday night, limiting the Royals to two runs and five hits over seven innings of a 4-3 triumph.

“He’s able to pitch effectively on the outer half of the plate and the inner half of the plate,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire told the club’s official website when comparing Boyd’s efforts to last year. “I think this is probably as good as he’s located the ball, really getting it where he wants to consistently. He would fly off the ball every once in a while last year, and you don’t see that very much this year.”

Boyd has also struck out nine or more in four of his seven starts. The left-hander was not able to duplicate his efforts in a second start versus the Angels last year, getting reached for four runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 6-2 road loss. Andrelton Simmons has been a nuisance to Boyd, going 3 for 3 while taking him deep once.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Boyd has done well dealing with the distraction of potentially being dealt, and the left-hander appears to be finally hitting his stride in terms of putting hitters away via strikeout. He also has posted two of his three wins following Tigers’ losses, which is another testament to his mettle. This has the potential to be a solid pitchers’ matchup, but the hedge is Boyd throws a little better than his left-handed counterpart for the second straight year.

Prediction: Tigers (-113)

Full-Game Total Pick

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This is a confidence pick in both left-handers getting the job done, with Skaggs looking more and more like he has turned a corner in terms of consistency thanks in part to staying healthy. Both pitchers are battlers, and in Boyd’s case, he is carrying a sub-1.00 WHIP into this contest. The under has gone 5-2 in Detroit’s last seven games, 6-0-1 in Skaggs’ last seven starts, and 10-3 in the last 13 matchups in Motown.

Prediction: UNDER 8 runs (-105)

Full-Game Prop Bet

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Even in winning their last two road games, the Angels are still batting just .211 outside Anaheim while going 5-10. They also have only a .308 slugging percentage, and in facing a high strikeout pitcher in Boyd, it could be a struggle for Los Angeles to put up runs.

Prediction: Angels UNDER 3.5 runs (+105)

First Five Innings Side Pick

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The expectation is this will be a low-scoring game, and Skaggs has been pitching well enough to warrant the Angels while grabbing the half-run at a decent rate. Los Angeles is 4-1 in the first five innings when its southpaw takes the ball, while the Tigers are 2-3-2 in games when Boyd is on the hill.

Prediction: Angels +0.5 runs (-135)

First Five Innings Total Bet

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The Tigers have given Boyd more than two runs in the first five innings just once thus far, and the Angels have backed Skaggs with three or fewer runs in three of his five starts. The five-inning under has delivered in five of Detroit’s seven starts, and the hedge is Boyd helps make it six of eight.

Prediction: UNDER 4 runs (Even)

First Five Innings Prop Prediction

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Boyd has not given up a first-inning run in his three starts at home and has been reached for runs just once in his seven outings overall. Aside from a shaky outing at Wrigley Field in which Skaggs served up a pair of home runs, he has otherwise been spotless in the opening frame.

Prediction: NO to 1st-inning run (-130)

Written By Chris Altruda

A 1994 graduate of Marquette University when they were known as the Warriors and Brooklyn native, Chris Altruda is a freelance sportswriter based in Chicago. He has worked at three major U.S. wire services and also has prior experience in sports handicapping and daily fantasy roster building. Now that the Cubs have won a World Series, he holds out hope the Jets will win a Super Bowl before he dies. Can be followed on Twitter at @AlTruda73.