Game of the Day: Tigers at Red Sox

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Updated: May 17, 2014

Detroit Tigers at Boston Red Sox (-125, 8.5)
 
The Detroit Tigers are trying to get some revenge for a loss in the American League Championship Series and are off to a good start. The Tigers will try to clinch the three-game series when they visit the Boston Red Sox on Saturday. Detroit, which suffered a 4-2 loss to the Red Sox in the ALCS, took Friday’s opener 1-0 as Max Scherzer outdueled Jon Lester in a game that was played through rain.

Boston has dropped three of its last four games to drop below .500 at 20-21 and is having some problems offensively from everyone other than David Ortiz. Boston managed three hits in Friday’s setback and Jackie Bradley Jr. (.200) and Will Middlebrooks (.197) are producing very little from the bottom of the order. Torii Hunter became a key figure in the ALCS when he tumbled into the Boston bullpen trying to catch Ortiz’s grand slam in Game 2. Hunter got some personal revenge on Friday as the only player in the contest with multiple hits, including the lone RBI.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, NESN (Boston)
 
LINE HISTORY: The Red Sox opened as -115 favorites and have been bet to -125. The total opened at 8.5.

INJURY REPORT: Tigers – OF Andy Dicks (Out, back), SS Jose Iglesias (Out, leg)  Red Sox – OF Shane Victorino (Questionable, knee)

COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Detroit (-198), Boston (-162)

WHAT THE SHARPS SAY: “The Red Sox continue to hover around the .500 mark with their offense, or lack thereof, serving as the main culprit for their inconsistency.” – COveres Expert Sean Murphy.

WHAT THE BOOKS SAY: “Don’t expect Boston to be too big of a favorite on Saturday as Porcello has a 2.27 ERA and 0.92 WHIP during his past 3 starts.” – Mike Perry of Sportsbook.com

WAG WAR: Justin Verlander’s girlfriend Kate Upton and Clay Buchholz’s wife Lindsay Clubine.

PITCHING MATCHUP: Tigers RHP Rick Porcello (6-1, 3.22 ERA) vs. RHP John Lackey (5-2, 3.57 ERA)

Porcello has won five straight starts and allowed two or fewer earned runs in each of his last three turns. The 25-year-old has issued only six walks in 44 2/3 innings and is fully recovered from the tightness in his left side that forced him to leave a start at Baltimore on Monday after six innings. Porcello was removed from the rotation for the playoffs last October and got in one appearance in the ALCS against the Red Sox, surrendering an unearned run on two hits without recording an out.

Lackey is just as sharp as Porcello of late and has allowed two or fewer earned runs in four straight starts after holding the Texas Rangers to two runs over seven innings last weekend. The veteran struck out nine in that turn and owns 52 punchouts in 53 innings. Lackey made one start against the Tigers in the ALCS and yielded four hits and struck out eight in 6 2/3 scoreless innings to pick up the Game 3 win.

 TWEET BEAT:

 
 
TRENDS:

* Under is 4-0 in Lackey’s last four starts vs. Tigers.
* Over is 3-0-1 in Porcello’s last four starts vs. Red Sox.
* Red Sox are 4-1 in the last five meetings.
* Tigers are 1-4 in Porcello’s last five starts vs. Red Sox.

COVERS CONSENSUS: Fifty-three percent of wagers are on the Red Sox -125.


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