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Rays vs. Tigers Series Preview

Baseball Predictions

The Detroit Tigers will attempt to snag their first series win since sweeping Chicago at the beginning of June when they welcome the Tampa Bay Rays into Comerica Park for an extended four game series. Tampa swept Detroit when the teams last hooked up at the end of April to move to 4-6 in the last 10 meetings.

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Detroit Tigers
Dates: Thursday, June 15 – Sunday, June 18, 2017
Location: Comerica Park

Entering Thursday, only 12 of 30 teams in the league have been profitable for baseball bettors this season. One of those teams are the Rays who’ve won 35 of their 68 played games to produce a $179 profit. It’s been a losing investment on the road however where it sits four games under .500 ( -$120 ) after just dropping two of three in Toronto.

Absolutely nothing about the Tigers has been profitable this season. Miguel Cabrera is having a down season for himself, and because of it, Detroit’s offense hasn’t been nearly as good as in year’s past. Though the starting staff has produced 34 quality starts ( No. 6 ), the bullpen has continued to stink out loud costing it numerous games when it matters most.

Game 1 Probable Pitchers - Thursday, June 15, 2017, 7:10 p.m. ET ( Local TV )

Alex Cobb vs. Justin Verlander

Cobb enters his 14th start of the season off a brilliant showing at home against Oakland whom he limited to just four hits and 1 ER through six innings to even his record at 5-5 overall. Tampa Bay is 6-7 with him leading its charge with the over cashing in nine of his 13 made starts. His 5.01 road ERA could run into issues at Comerica where he’s allowed 18 hits through 18.1 career innings.

One quality start through his last four tries simply isn’t getting the job done as the perceived ace of the Tigers’ staff. Verlander didn’t pitch through the sixth inning in three of those starts, and only racked up a 15:11 K/BB ratio during that stretch. He’s 8-3 with a 3.34 ERA lifetime against the Rays, and tossed seven innings of 1 ER ball at Tampa Bay last season.

Game 2 Probable Pitchers - Friday, June 16, 2017, 7:10 p.m. ET ( Local TV )

Erasmo Ramirez vs. Daniel Norris

None of Erasmo’s last three starts have been of quality dropping his quality start percentage down to 5.6 percent for the season – gross! The righty has conceded 23 hits ( 2 HR ) and 11 ER over his last 12.1 innings, but due to receiving 5.7 runs per game of support, Tampa won two of those games. The Tigers have raked him for a .278 BAA, and he owns a career 5.87 ERA at Comerica.

Though only half of Norris’ last four starts have been of quality, the lefty looks to be turning his season around. He didn’t log the win in his last turn in Boston, but his five innings of 2 ER ball put his club in a position to win. Detroit did just that and moved to 6-6 in his 12 overall starts. Tampa Bay checks in 8-14 against lefties, so another solid outing could be on the horizon.

Game 3 Probable Pitchers - Saturday, June 17, 2017, 4:10 p.m. ET ( FS1 )

Chris Archer vs. Michael Fulmer

Archer has been at his best this season in day games where he checks in 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. He has however been better at home ( 3.40 ERA ) than on the road ( 4.35 ERA ), and he’s had all kinds of trouble throwing at the Tigers in Comerica evidenced by his career 6.35 ERA and .292 BAA over two starts. Tampa’s split his six road starts with the over going 4-2.

Fulmer will be looking to get back on the horse in this one after conceding 5 ER in back-to-back starts to the White Sox and Angels. Not the greatest hitting teams the league has to offer. Making his 13th start all the more daunting is a Rays team that much prefers stepping into the box against righties who it’s gone 27-18 against while plating an average of 5.0 runs per game.

Game 4 Probable Pitchers - Sunday, June 18, 2017, 1:10 p.m. ET ( Local TV )

Jacob Faria vs. Buck Farmer

Faria’s start to his professional career couldn’t have gone any better. After tossing 6.1 innings of 1 ER ball at Chicago to go along with five strikeouts, he followed it up with another 6.1 innings of 1 ER ball and 8 Ks at Toronto. This is a kid that racked up 84 strikeouts through 58.2 innings at the Triple-A level, so if he continues to impress, it’ll be extremely tough for management to send him back down.

Like his opponent, Farmer’s first two starts of the season were fantastic. He toyed with the White Sox and Angels by allowing just six hits and no earned runs while racking up a 16:3 K/BB ratio through 13 combined innings. He was then humbled in a big way in his third turn by the D’backs who rocked him for nine hits ( 2 HR ) and 6 ER through 2.1 innings. This will be his first career start against the Rays.