Free MLB Picks: Detroit Tigers vs. Tampa Bay Rays

The Detroit Tigers (37-40) and Tampa Bay Rays (41-36) will continue their American League series on Saturday night at Tropicana Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:15 ET

Detroit Tigers at Tampa Bay Rays

The Detroit Tigers are 14-6 in Rick Porcello's last 20 starts on the road

Detroit is now 3-5 in the first eight games of its current 10-game road trip, suffering a 4-2 setback to Tampa Bay on Friday night.  The Tigers may have a tough time offensively in this affair, considering sluggers Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder are 1-for-7 combined in their careers against tonight’s opposing starter.  Outfielder Delmon Young may have to pick up the slack, going 6 for 13 with three RBIs over his last three games.  Detroit is 7-15 this year when the total is 8 to 8.5, but is 6-5 as a road underdog of +100 to +125.

Tigers starting pitcher Rick Porcello (5-5, 4.71 ERA) has watched the club alternate wins and losses over his last five outings, picking up an 8-2 road win over the Texas Rangers last time out, giving up one run and six hits over six frames.  The right-hander is 3-2 with a 4.73 ERA in seven road outings, surrendering three home runs in 40 combined frames.  In three career starts versus the Rays, Porcello has tallied a 1-1 record and 3.15 ERA, including a no-decision effort on April 10.  He allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings in a 5-2 win in that contest.

Tampa Bay snapped a four-game win streak with last night’s victory and the clubhouse is feeling good about itself despite possessing the second-worst batting average among AL teams.  “We looked normal,” stated Rays manager Joe Maddon.  The Rays received a huge lift offensively by leadoff batter Desmond Jennings, who hit a pair of solo home runs, as Matt Joyce and Evan Longoria still remain on the disabled list.  Tampa Bay is 3-5 at home with a money line of -100 to -125, with the “under” going 23-10 in that situation since 2010.

Rays starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (4-3, 3.45 ERA) has watched his team alternated wins and losses over his last seven efforts, as he was last seen on a mound on June 14.  He was handed a 9-6 home loss by the New York Mets in that contest, giving up a season-high eight runs on nine hits in 3.2 innings.  In three career starts versus the Tigers, Hellickson has gone 1-2 with a 1.77 ERA, limiting them to a .188 batting average.

Bettors will likely back the Tigers due to their 14-6 record in Porcello’s last 20 road starts, while the Rays are 1-5 in Hellickson’s last six efforts as a favorite of -110 to -150.

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