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MLB picks: Tigers vs. Rays, Astros vs. Rangers

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

September 16th, 2021

Thursday features a relatively small MLB slate, but we’ve managed to come up with two solid sides!

Leading off will be our look at the series opener between the Detroit Tigers and the Tampa Bay Rays. Then we’ll highlight the series finale between the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers.

Detroit Tigers (70-76) at Tampa Bay Rays (90-56), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thu, September 16 2021, 11:10 PM

TB Rays

Moneyline

-230

Run Line

-1.5

Total

O 8.5

DET Tigers

Moneyline

+175

Run Line

+1.5

Total

U 8.5

The Rays are struggling right now, having lost five out of their last seven games, so the Tigers could very well pull off a series-opening upset at Tropicana Field on Thursday night.

Tyler Alexander gets the nod for Detroit, looking to replicate what he did against Tampa last Friday. He limited their lineup to one run over 4 1/3 innings while registering four strikeouts. Alexander is backed by a Tigers bullpen that’s a respectable 12th in the majors over the last two weeks by ERA (3.69).

Louis Head responds for the Rays, although bettors shouldn’t expect him to last more than two innings – his maximum on the season. The problem lies with Tampa’s relief corps, which sports an uncharacteristically high 5.25 ERA over the last two weeks, 23rd in baseball.

Detroit – which has won five of its last six overall – should see another solid effort from Miguel Cabrera, who’s batting .395 in September with a homer and 12 RBI.

MLB pick: Tigers +175


Houston Astros (85-60) at Texas Rangers (54-91), 8:05 p.m. ET

Fri, September 17 2021, 12:05 AM

TEX Rangers

Moneyline

+185

Run Line

+1.5

Total

O 8.5

HOU Astros

Moneyline

-225

Run Line

-1.5

Total

U 8.5

The Astros should take their series finale against the Rangers with ease on Thursday night.

Framber Valdez has the call for Houston, and while his first two starts of September were discouraging (6.55 ERA), there is hope for improvement. He’s 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA against the Rangers in 2021, including seven innings of two-run baseball against this club on Aug. 28.

Meanwhile, the Houston offense has been rolling over its last nine games, plating 6.56 runs per contest (6-3 record). Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Tucker and Jose Altuve have all homered twice in that span.

They should keep the momentum going against Texas starter Glenn Otto, who was tagged for eight earned runs in only 3 1/3 innings of work against the Oakland A’s when last seen. Otto blanked the ‘Stros over five frames in his MLB debut, but the Houston lineup should have a better idea of what he’ll attack them with now.

MLB pick: Astros -1.5 runs (-136)

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