Detroit (42-38) at Tampa Bay (33-46)
When: Saturday, July 2nd 2016
Where: Tropicana Field, St Petersburg, FL
Time: 4:10 ET | TV: FSN Detroit, FSN Sun
The surging Detroit Tigers look for their fifth straight victory when they visit the slumping Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday afternoon. Detroit scored ten runs for the third consecutive game in the 10-2 thrashing last night. Victor Martinez belted a pair of homers while knocking in six runs Friday to extend his hitting streak to five games. Cameron Maybin has six hits in the first two games of the series and is 13-for-19 with 10 RBIs against Tampa Bay. The Rays gave up 20 runs in the last two games and have dropped 14 of 16 games overall while plummeting to last place in the American League East. Logan Forsythe has been one of the bright spots for Tampa Bay, going 13-for-30 during a seven-game hitting streak. Tampa Bay SS Brad Miller matched his career high with his 11th homer Friday and has reached double digits three straight seasons. Martinez, who has 11 RBIs during his current hitting streak, is batting .354 with 14 homers and 65 RBIs in 81 career games against the Rays.
Pitchers: Tigers – Justin Verlander (7-6, 4.30 ERA) | Rays – Blake Snell (1-2, 3.54)
Justin Verlander had won three straight decisions until he ran into the Cleveland Indians last Sunday. He allowed eight runs and nine hits over 4.2 innings against the Tribe, but allowed just nine runs in his previous 27.2 innings. Verlander is 7-3 with a 3.49 ERA lifetime versus the Rays.
Rookie Blake Snell recorded his first major league victory in his fourth start last time out when he allowed four runs on eight hits over 5.1 innings against Boston on Monday. The 23-year-old had given up two or fewer earned runs in his first three starts, but has walked 10 over his last three. Opponents are hitting a healthy .301 this year against him.
Seems like a small price to lay based on the different directions these teams are going. Detroit has scored 37 runs in their last four games. Tampa Bay has only won twice since the middle of June. The Tigers are 21-9 as a favorite this year. The runline is tempting, but I’ll lay the 125 and play it straight.
Pick: Tigers -125