Tigers Hope to Heat Up in Desert Against D’Backs

Detroit Favored in Tigers vs D'Backs Series Preview

The Detroit Tigers head to the desert this weekend, hoping to halt their recent losing skid.

The Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks will open a three-game series at Chase Field on Friday (9:40 p.m. ET). Per D’Backs scores, Ryne Nelson will face ace Tarik Skubal.

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Detroit is -1.5 (+116) on the run line and -142 on the moneyline for the series opener, with Arizona +120 to win outright (ML). Meanwhile, the projected total is 8 with a slight edge to the Under at -114 odds.

What should bettors expect? Read on as we break down both MLB teams and assess the odds in our Tigers vs D’Backs preview.

Game 1

Tigers logo Tigers vs D’Backs Diamondbacks logo

Location: Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona
Streaming: BSDET

Tigers vs Diamondbacks Betting Trends

The Detroit Tigers are 19-24 against the run line, including just 1-5 over their last six MLB games. Their 44.2% cover rate is among the lowest in MLB, though not much worse than the Arizona Diamondbacks’ (45.5%). The Tigers haven’t fared much better for Over/Under bettors, going 20-20-3.

Arizona, meanwhile, is 20-24 against the run line. As for the Over/Under, the Diamondbacks are 18-24-2.

That’s important to remember when assessing the odds in our Tigers vs D’Backs series preview.

Tigers’ Bats Go Cold

Detroit has played close to expectations, hovering around .500 with a 21-22 record. That said, the club’s recent play doesn’t offer much optimism.

The Tigers are just 3-7 over their last 10 games, including getting shut out the final two games of their series against the last-place Marlins.

That’s caused the Tigers (projected for 80.5 wins) to drop to fourth place in the American League Central, ahead of only 14-30 Chicago. As such, their divisional MLB odds have sunk to +800.

There’s still plenty to like about the Tigers. They have a bona fide ace in Tarik Skubal (Friday’s projected starter) and a budding star outfielder in Riley Greene.

At the same time, their lineup still has too many holes. The regression of former No. 1 overall pick Spencer Torkelson, whose OPS has dipped to .625, is among their biggest issues. They also aren’t getting much bang on their buck from free-agent bust Javy Baez (1 HR, .422 OPS).

As such, Detroit is 23rd in both homers (37) and runs scored (168) in the Major League Baseball standings.

The Detroit Tigers have failed to cover the run line in seven of their last 11 games, including four straight. Keep that in mind when reviewing our Tigers vs D’Backs series preview.

No Bite in These Snakes

Still trying to recapture their magic from last October, the reigning National League champion Diamondbacks are off to an underwhelming 21-23 start. While that’s good for second place in the NL West, they’re 7.5 games behind the Dodgers.

Projected for 84.5 wins, the Diamondbacks could rank as one of baseball’s biggest disappointments if they’re unable to turn things around.

Pitching has been an issue in many D’Backs games. Arizona’s 4.21 ERA is 20th in the majors. The club signed a few big-name starters this offseason in Eduardo Rodriguez and Jordan Montgomery, but they’ve yet to see a return on their investment.

Rodriguez has been out since spring training with left-shoulder discomfort, while Montgomery (Sunday’s projected start) has largely underperformed. He is 2-2 with a 4.76 ERA.

Arizona’s lineup has also had issues. Reigning NL Rookie of the Year Corbin Carroll is off to a dismal start, hitting just .193 with two home runs and a .539 OPS.

The Diamondbacks are now just +2400 to defend their NL crown and have +4500 World Series odds.

Series Probables

⚾Game 1 ⚾

  • Friday, 9:40 p.m. ET
  • Tarik Skubal vs Ryne Nelson

Skubal has positioned himself as the early American League Cy Young favorite at +230 thanks to a 5-0 record and 2.02 ERA. The 27-year-old southpaw also has 60 strikeouts and only eight walks over 49 innings, along with a miniscule WHIP (0.86).

He beat the Astros in his last start, holding them to two runs over 6.1 innings in an 8-2 victory on May 11.

The Diamondbacks will counter with Nelson, who is 2-2 with a 5.33 ERA. Nelson has gone beyond the fifth inning in just one of his first six appearances, a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on April 13 (6 innings, 1 ER).

⚾ Game 2 ⚾

  • Saturday, 8:10 p.m. ET
  • Jack Flaherty vs Zac Gallen

Flaherty has been terrific, though he doesn’t have a win (0-3 record) to show for his string of strong performances.

The veteran right-hander has a 3.88 ERA and 1.05 WHIP along with a career-high 10.5 strikeout/walk ratio.

He’s posted double-digit strikeouts in two of his last five starts, including 14 strikeouts in a 2-1 loss to St. Louis on April 30.

Gallen, meanwhile, is 5-2 with a 2.86 ERA. He’s won both starts this month, allowing a combined two runs over 12 innings against Cincinnati and Baltimore. He is +2500 for National League Cy Young after finishing third in the voting last MLB season behind Blake Snell and Logan Webb.

⚾ Game 3 ⚾

  • Sunday, 4:10 p.m. ET
  • Jordan Montgomery vs Matt Manning

Montgomery owns a 4.76 ERA over his first five starts as a Diamondback, including 9.72 at home. The veteran left-hander threw a season-high 101 pitches in Monday’s 6-5 win over Cincinnati (5.1 innings, 3 ER).

The slow start is not surprising considering he missed most of spring training while waiting to sign.

Montgomery will face Manning, who is 0-1 with a 4.37 ERA. Manning last pitched on Monday, holding Miami to three runs over 5.2 innings in a 6-5 win.

For MLB picks, betting analysis and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.

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