First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
TV: MLB Network (select areas)
Probable pitchers: Dallas Keuchel (2-0, 2.55 ERA) vs. Michael Fulmer (0-0, 13.50 ERA)
Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers Predictions
While many dream of turning back the clock to before 2020, Keuchel seemingly has in terms of on-field performance, looking like the pitcher again that once scored an American League Cy Young.
Of course, that was five years ago, and since then, the ninth-year southpaw’s gradually gone downhill. Take last season for instance — his first outside of the Houston Astros organization (and a stay in the then-pitching-friendlier National League) — and he posted his highest WHIP (1.37) and batting average against (.265) in six seasons. Keuchel’s homer rate also spiked up to 1.28 HR/9, his highest such mark since his rookie year.
Thus, it’s reasonable to invest in a downfall of Keuchel from this aberration that is his start to the campaign. He’s been getting a little luck, too, seeing just a .246 average on balls put in play against him. There’s no way that will sustain, and since he’s not garnering a lot of strikeouts (5.60 K/9), it’s only a matter of time before he crashes back to earth.
Aiding the idea that this can be a come-down spot for Keuchel is that he’s about to face a lineup that fares quite well opposite left-handed pitching. The Tigers — yes, the Tigers — currently the majors’ highest team OPS (.976) off southpaws. Their .308 batting average ranks second.
Depending on Detroit to scratch out just a few runs at least can be a huge difference-maker for this bet. That’s because bettors have to expect the other starter in this affair, Fulmer, to endure some issues opposite a rugged lineup.
The former Rookie of the Year is good when he’s on, but clearly, he’s not in that rhythm right now. Fulmer only just came back from Tommy John and didn’t look too hot in his return outing, yielding four runs on five hits — including three long balls — in less than three innings of work.
To make matters worse, that assignment was more than a week ago, so there’s no doubt going to be rust when the righty toes the rubber. He’s not expected to go more than a handful of frames either and getting into that middle part of the Tigers bullpen could provide even more of a spark for an offense that consistently hits.
Bet: OVER 9 (-119)
MLB Picks & Leans August 10
MIN/MIL Under 8.5
2020 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 5-10-2, -6.72 units
Yesterday’s Result: Marlins-Mets Under 7 (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit