MLB Picks 2012: Tampa Bay Rays Are Dangerous Home Underdogs Friday Night

The Detroit Tigers (37-39) and Tampa Bay Rays (40-36) will continue a four-game American League series on Friday night at Tropicana Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 ET

Detroit Tigers at Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays are 4-0 as a home underdog of +100 to +125 this season

Detroit has won just three of its first seven games on its current road trip, but captured a 5-2 win to open its series against Tampa Bay on Thursday night.  The Tigers were led offensively by outfielder Austin Jackson and third baseman Miguel Cabrera, accounting for half of the team’s 14 hits.  Cabrera has been red-hot at the plate, but may cool off in facing tonight’s opposing starter.  Detroit is 4-6 on the road with a money line of -100 to -125, with the “under” going 7-3 in those contests.

Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (8-4, 2.52 ERA) has earned a victory in his last three starts, including a 3-2 road win over the Pittsburgh Pirates last time out, giving up two runs and five hits in going the distance.  The right-hander is 5-2 with a 3.18 ERA in nine road outings, issuing 11 walks and collecting 65 strikeouts in 65 combined innings.  In 11 career starts versus the Rays, Verlander has garnered a 6-2 record and 3.68 ERA,  including a 3-1 mark and 2.57 ERA in four appearances at this ball park.

Tampa Bay has now lost four in a row and 11 of its past 16 games, as the club is really struggling without some of its key players.  “This might be the toughest time we’ve gone through this year,” stated Rays first baseman Carlos Pena.  The Rays have now lost 10 of their last 12 games in this series, as they try to avoid dropping five straight for the first time since opening the 2012 MLB campaign with an 0-6 record.  Tampa Bay is 4-0 as a home underdog of +100 to +125 this season.

Rays starting pitcher David Price (10-4, 2.95 ERA) has won his last two starts, capturing a 3-2 road win over the Philadelphia Phillies, giving up a single run and four hits over seven frames.  The left-hander is 4-2 with a 2.32 ERA in six home outings, surrendering just a single home run in 42.2 combined innings.  In six career games (four starts) versus the Tigers, Price has compiled a solid 3-1 record and 2.15 ERA.

Sports bettors will likely back the Rays due to their 35-16 mark at home against losing teams, while the Tigers are 0-4 in Verlander’s last four efforts against AL East opponents.

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