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Matt Zylbert breaks down Thursday's Rangers vs. Tigers game

Rangers vs. Tigers Prediction: MLB Over/Under Picks

Texas Rangers at Detroit Tigers

Over/Under F5: 5

First pitch: 1:10 p.m. ET

TV: MLB Network

Probable pitchers: Mike Foltynewicz (2-9, 5.91 ERA) vs. Tyler Alexander (1-1, 4.40 ERA)

Rangers vs. Tigers Prediction

OK, going with a rare First 5 today to put more emphasis on the two starters going.

You might be thinking, “Why do that when one of those pitchers is 2-9 on the year?”

Fair point, and he also holds a bad 5.91 ERA. But this bet blossoms from such circumstances, like how the last start for Foltynewicz resulted in maybe the worst performance of his eight-season career (well, not counting his 2018 NLDS outing).

Foltynewicz hasn’t been as awful as his overall stat line suggests. The key thing in bringing about improvement to where where he was earlier in the campaign is his uptick in velocity, which has seen a spike to 94.4, his highest in two years prior to missing lengthy time due to injury.

The main bugaboo for the former Atlanta Brave has been keeping the ball in the yard. A whopping 28 homers have been tattooed off Folty — already a career high — but fortunately, he’ll be facing a team that’s cranked out the second-fewest taters at home in the American League.m

Meanwhile, there’s an opposing offense that is having some serious problems lately plating some runs on the scoreboard. The Rangers have managed just five runs — five!! — total in their six games since the All-Star break, a stretch that also included three straight shutouts.

Typically, when teams go through ruts like this, they suddenly just don’t burst out with a crooked number. And especially not against underrated starters like Alexander.

This is a big outing for the 27-year-old, just his fourth starting assignment this season. Alexander is on record of saying he prefers to start and thus, I like him to justify his belief on where he should be.

Remember, this is a guy that set a Major League record last year for most consecutive batters struck out by a relief pitcher in one appearance with nine. That’s also the highest mark of any hurler.

Alexander is someone that stood out to me when he was more of a regularly-used starter in his debut campaign two years ago. He’s capable of adding to the Rangers’ woes with at least a few effective innings. We won’t mind the likes of Kyle Funkhouser or Daniel Norris potentially finishing off the rest of the five. 

MLB Picks: Rangers vs. Tigers Prediction

Pick: UNDER 5 F5 (-105)

MLB Leans

Padres-Marlins Under (if Jordan Holloway starts)

Athletics-Mariners Under 7.5

2021 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “52-43-7,” +3.30 units

Yesterday’s Result: Pirates-Diamondbacks Under 9.5 (“loss”)

*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit


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