The 24-28 Pittsburgh Pirates open up a quick two-game series with the 21-33 Detroit Tigers tonight at 7:05 p.m. EST.
Both clubs had the day off yesterday so each should be well rested and we've got a doozy of a pitching matchup in store as Tarik Skubal takes on Jose Quintana.
Skubal hasn't allowed a single run in 31 of his last 32 innings as he's quickly become one of the most dominant pitchers in MLB. The Tigers have won four of his last five starts and were on a nice 7-2 stretch before getting swept by the New York Yankees.
Quintana has been excellent as well, amassing a 1.33 ERA in May and allowing two or fewer runs in nine of his 10 starts. Pittsburgh has won five of their last six, including a sweep of the Dodgers, and are 6-3 in Quintana's last nine outings.
Which pitcher will win the duel? Can Skubal get Detroit back on track or will the home squad stay hot?
Let's check out the odds from WynnBET Sportsbook to help find an edge in this Tigers vs Pirates series-opening matchup:
Tigers vs Pirates Odds, Run Line and Total
- Tigers -1.5 (+140)
- Pirates +1.5 (-160)
- Tigers: -120
- Pirates: +100
- 7.0 (Over -105/Under -115)
Tigers vs Pirates Prediction and Pick
My love for Tarik Skubal is well-documented, and I think it's a matter of when, not if, we start taking him seriously as a Cy Young candidate. His numbers are off the charts as he hasn't allowed a single run in 31 of his last 32 innings pitched. That's bananas.
As my colleague Reed Wallach pointed out though, the Tigers are one of the worst teams in MLB and it's difficult to win individual awards on a terrible team. Especially one as prestigious as the Cy Young, with a loaded field of quality pitchers to choose from. But part of the reason Skubal's been so impressive is because of how bad the rest of the Detroit roster is.
Here's how many runs they've scored in their last 15 road games: 4, 0, 0, 4, 0, 4, 4, 1, 1, 1, 3, 6, 0, 2, 2.
It's so pathetic it's sad, honestly. That's an average of 2.13 runs per game, and things won't get easier against Jose Quintana. The 33-year-old lefty was nails in May, compiling a 1.33 ERA while not giving up a single home run.
With two pitchers at the top of their games and two lineups that rank in the bottom-10 in OPS against left-handed pitchers, I'm taking the under. It's 5-0-1 in Skubal's last six starts and 4-0-2 in Quintana's home outings. In those last 15 Detroit road games I mentioned above, it's 10-4-1.
But I can't resist taking the Tigers on the moneyline as well. Skubal has won my loyalty, and Detroit was 7-2 in their last nine as an underdog prior to the Yankees series. Quintana's 4.50 expected ERA he's due for regression, and it may only take one or two runs to get the job done with the way Skubal is pitching. The Pirates are flying high, but the Tigers' Cy Young candidate will bring them back to earth.
Pick: Tigers (-120) and Under 7.0 (-115)
Follow all of Joe Summers' betting picks here.