Detroit Tigers (+147) at Seattle Mariners (-162, 7 o/u)
Hisashi Iwakuma (0-1, 6.61 ERA) makes his return after spending two months on the disabled list and he’ll be immediately thrown into the fire against one of the MLB’s best hitting teams when the Detroit Tigers (41-40, 19-17 away) visit the Seattle Mariners (38-44, 17-23 home) at Safeco Field (10:10 PM Eastern).
Iwakuma’s last start came back on April 20, before a strained lat muscle sent him to the DL. However, he wasn’t off to the best 2015 season anyways, giving up four earned runs every outing and never getting past 6.0 innings in three starts. Mariners fans are hoping that was a result of his injury and that the Japanese pitcher can regain his previous form; when he won 29 games over the past two seasons.
It would be hard to find a worse team to return against though; the Tigers lead the majors in batting average, on-base percentage and are sixth in slugging percentage. Detroit enters tonight’s game on the heels of taking two of three against Toronto over the weekend, thanks to their big bats and some decent pitching from David Price and Anibal Sanchez.
However, tonight the Tigers turn the ball over to Alfredo Simon (7-5, 3.94 ERA) who has gotten rocked in last three starts – all losses – after allowing 18 earned runs in only 14.2 innings of work. While tonight, he’ll look to pitch around All-Star DH Nelson Cruz, the rest of this Seattle lineup has underachieved; ranking second-last in the league in runs scored.
Simon had at least shown earlier in the year he can be effective, while Iwakuma still remains a question mark this season. It’s very possible both starters are out of this game early in what should be a high scoring affair. And if tonight is going to be a bat-race, take the Tigers and the extra value they provide on the road.
Pick: Tigers (+147)
(Photo Credit: Keith Allison (Originally posted on Flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/])
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