Saturday MLB Betting Preview – Tigers at Braves

The best home team in Major League Baseball hopes to get today’s starter his first win of the season.

Detroit Tigers at Atlanta Braves

Detroit finds itself in a precarious spot this weekend, as they play the hottest home team in the majors.  The Tigers are a disappointing 14-22 on the road this season (-760), but still must be respected with a 10-6 mark in interleague play (+380).  In fact, the club has compiled a 62-26 record (.705) against the National League since 2006, which is the best winning percentage in baseball over that span.  OF Magglio Ordonez has been a big reason for the team’s success this time of year, hitting .335 with 36 home runs and 148 RBI during his career in interleague action.  He stands third among active major leaguers in batting average in that category.  Detroit’s record stands at 21-11 during the day this season (+920), led by a pitching staff hast has compiled a 3.40 ERA over those 32 games.

Tigers SP Max Scherzer is 4-6 with a 5.67 ERA in 13 starts this season (-460), but has picked up back-to-back wins in his last two starts thanks to interleague baseball.  The right-hander has allowed four earned runs and 11 hits over 13 innings in those two victories, managing to fan 17 batters and issuing just four walks.  He is making his seventh career interleague start, going 4-2 with a 2.88 ERA in the previous six outings.  Scherzer has fanned 41 batters over his last five starts, posting a 3-2 record and 3.48 ERA since returning from the minors.  He has struggled away from Comerica Park, recording a dismal 1-4 mark and 6.20 ERA in seven starts (-580).

Atlanta is currently the best home team in baseball with a 25-7 record (+1,520) and have won 15 of their last 16 games at Turner Field.  The Braves 32 home games still rank as the fewest played by a team in the majors this season.  Expect the lineup to be patient in facing Scherzer this afternoon (73IP/27BB), as they’ve collected a MLB-best 321 walks this season and their .349 on-base percentage leads the NL.  Atlanta stands at 8-5 against the American League this season (+300) and 23-20 over the last three years (+340).  The team is a dominating 31-18 when facing right-handed pitching this season (+1,140), producing a .265 batting average and scoring 5.0 runs in those contests.

Braves SP Kenshin Kawakami is 0-9 with a 4.78 ERA in 14 starts this season (-640).  The right-hander is coming off a no-decision effort in his last outing, allowing five runs (four earned) and six hits over two innings of work, as the team produced an 8-5 home victory over Kansas City.  Despite being winless, the Braves have won four of Kawakami’s six starts at Turner Field this season, as he’s 0-2 with a 4.66 ERA (+200).  In 24 career games in Atlanta, he is 2-9 with a 3.92 ERA.  He has made just four daytime starts, going 0-2 with a 5.48 ERA, managing to strike out just nine batters in 21.1 innings.

Bettors that have backed the Braves at Turner Field are reaping the benefits, especially when playing them at home with a money line of -100 to -125 (7-0, +700).  It’s still important to note that the club is just a game over .500 against winning teams this season (+90).  Detroit has bounced back well after defeat this season (19-12, +920), but it will be hard to pull the trigger on a team that’s 6-9 as a road underdog of +100 to +125 (-240).

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