Pittsburgh Pirates (56-57; 45-62-6 O/U) vs. Detroit Tigers (51-61; 58-48-6 O/U)
MLB: Thursday, August 10, 2017 at 1:10pm EST
Line: Pittsburgh -143/Detroit +133
The Detroit Tigers will host the Pittsburgh Pirates as the clubs wrap up a four game home-and-home series Thursday afternoon from Comerica Park. The Pirates will hand the ball to 26-year old right-hander Gerrit Cole, and the Tigers will counter with 26-year old right-hander Drew VerHagen. The Pirates have won the first two games of this series.
Cole Targets Seventh Consecutive Quality Start
Gerrit Cole will get the call for the 24th time of the year, aiming for win number ten. Cole tallied another Quality Start in his latest effort, allowing three runs in six innings to the Padres and was charged with the loss. The Pirates’ ace has been outstanding as of late, and now features a 4.00 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP accompanied with a 9-8 record in 139.2 innings pitched on the season. He has kept the Tigers bats quiet in his three career starts, allowing only five runs in 18.2 innings to go with a 1-1 record. Miguel Cabrera is 2 for 9 against Cole, while Ian Kinsler is 2 for 13, and Justin Upton is 3 for 8 with one RBI. David Freese has been productive as of late, recording a hit in 9 out of his last 23 at bats with five RBI’s in his last seven games. The eight-year veteran third baseman is having a decent season, hitting .268 with eight home runs and 37 RBI’s. Freese is 2 for 7 with one RBI’s in two games against the Tigers in this series.
The Pirates are currently averaging 4.26 runs per game, ranking them 26th in the Majors, are own a .247 team batting average. The Pittsburgh pitching has been solid, now carrying a 4.14 team ERA, good for 11th in the Majors.
VerHagen Strong in First Start of Season
Drew VerHagen will make his fourth appearance and second start of the season, hunting for his first win. VerHagen was solid in his first start of the season five days ago, allowing two runs in five innings to the Orioles and finished with the no decision. The young right-hander has conceded five runs in his nine innings pitched at the Major League level this season. He has seen limited action against the Pirates in his brief time in the Majors over the past few seasons, allowing three runs in 2.2 innings of relief. VerHagen posted a 4.90 ERA at Triple-A this season. Miguel Cabrera continues to flounder at the plate, going just 3 for 23 with three RBI’s over his last seven games. The career .318 hitter is having the worst season of his tremendous career, hitting only .251 with 13 home runs and 53 RBI’s. Cabrera is 0 for 6 through the first two games of this series.
The Tigers are averaging a solid 4.75 runs per game, ranking them ninth in the Major Leagues, and feature a .257 team batting average. The Detroit pitching has been a weak spot, recording a 4.93 team ERA, placing them down at 28th in the Majors.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are:
- under is 13-3 in Cole’s last 16 starts following a Quality Start in his previous appearance.
- under is 16-5 in Cole’s last 21 starts overall.
- under is 4-0 in their last 4 road games against a team with a losing record.
The Detroit Tigers are:
- under is 6-0 in their last 6 interleague home games against a team with a losing record.
- under is 4-1 in their last 5 interleague home games against a right-handed starter.
- under is 4-1 in their last 5 interleague games overall.
I am going with the under in this contest. Cole has been outstanding, sporting a stifling 2.61 ERA over his last six starts, and the Tigers have only scored five runs in 18.2 innings against him, so I expect another strong outing from Cole. Furthermore, VerHagen was solid in his first start of the season five days ago, as he held the Orioles to only two runs in five innings, and the Pirates are a low scoring team, so I am confident the under is a strong play.