Sunday MLB Betting Preview – Diamondbacks at Tigers

A former Diamondbacks’ starter faces off against his old team in hopes of capturing a series victory for the home team.

Arizona Diamondbacks at Detroit Tigers

Arizona picked up a rare interleague victory on Saturday, topping the Detroit Tigers 6-5 at Comerica Park.  The team will now try to capture its first road series in nine weeks.  “It has been a long time since we’ve won a game in gray uniforms,” Diamondbacks manger A.J. Hinch said.  Considering the team is just 40-64 against the American League since 2004, the team will be hard-pressed to pick up back-to-back victories.  The Diamondbacks are 7-18 during a stretch where they are playing 11 consecutive series (34 games) against teams that are above .500 on the season.  Arizona is 19-21 overall this year when playing against a team with a winning record (+20).

Diamondbacks SP Ian Kennedy has compiled a 3-4 record and 3.57 ERA in 14 starts this season (-210).  In his last start on June 15, he suffered a 6-3 loss in Boston, allowing a season-high six runs and nine hits.  Since May 4, the right-hander is 2-3 with a 3.10 ERA and .242 opponents average.  The right-hander is 2-3 with a 4.56 ERA in eight road starts this season (-360), with the team dropping his last four, being outscored by a slim 21-15 margin.  Only five of his starts have come during the day, posting a 1-2 mark and 4.15 ERA.  Kennedy will be facing the Tigers for the first time in his career.

Detroit concludes a nine-game homestand with the final game of a three-game series against Arizona.  Since interleague play started in 1997, the Tigers have a 131-109 record.  The club is a dominating 60-23 (.723) since the start of the 2006 season against the National League, which is the best winning percentage over that span.  The Tigers enter this afternoon’s game with a 20-11 record during the day this season (+720), as the pitching staff has recorded a 3.47 ERA over the 31 games.  Closer Jose Valverde has been the most dominant member of the staff this season, converting his last 5 save opportunities, as he tops all AL relievers with a 0.61 ERA and .108 batting average against.

Tigers SP Max Scherzer has endured an up and down season, going 3-6 with a 6.14 ERA in 12 starts (-560).  The right-hander will face his old club for the first time in his career, after being traded in the offseason.  Scherzer has an even 2-2 record and 6.04 ERA in five home starts (+20), picking up two straight wins at Comerica Park thanks to the offense providing 17 runs of support.  He has been a much better pitcher during the day, recording an even 2-3 mark with a 3.72 ERA (8.03 ERA at night).  Detroit will look to win consecutive games with him on the mound for the first time this year.

Playing the total in this contest could certainly be playable, considering the Diamondbacks are 15-3 O/U during day games this season.  Arizona may have a 9-26 record on the road as well, but the over is 22-11-2 in those contests.  Detroit has been a daytime cash register with a 20-10 record this season (+820), but total bettors will find them 13-15-2 O/U in those games.

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