The Detroit Tigers take on the Cleveland Guardians in the first game of a three-game series on Thursday, August 17. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. ET from Progressive Field. Tarik Skubal (2-2, 4.18 ERA) will take the mound for the Tigers, and Xzavion Curry (3-1, 3.39 ERA) will pitch for the Guardians.
The Tigers are -135 moneyline favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the Guardians coming in at +114. The total is set at 8.5.
Tigers-Guardians picks: Thursday, August 17
Out: RP Mason Englert (hip), SS Javier Baez (bereavement)
Out: RHP Cal Quantrill (shoulder), 1B Josh Naylor (oblique), UTIL David Fry (hamstring)
Tarik Skubal vs. Xzavion Curry
Skubal struggled in his latest start, which lasted 5.1 innings in a road trip against the Red Sox. He let up five runs in the outing, four of which were earned, and recorded two walks to his three strikeouts. However, his latest home start looked much better — he faced the Tampa Bay Rays, and kept them runless over 6.1 innings. He conceded six hits and recorded six strikeouts.
Curry has bounced back and forth between starting and relieving this season, and he has recorded his two longest starts of the season in his last two games. He let up five earned runs in as many innings against the Rays in his latest start, recording just a single strikeout. Earlier this season, he pitched two innings against Detroit, allowing four hits and one earned run.
The Guardians have been able to run up a few scores this month, adding up 19 runs over their last four games. The Tigers have scored 22 in their last four. Neither pitcher is coming off a particularly strong showing, so let’s go ahead and bet on a high-scoring matchup this evening.
Pick: Over 8.5
The Tigers recently split their series with the Twins, and the Guardians split with the Reds. The Guardians have struggled at the plate against left-handed pitchers this season. The Tigers continue to show signs of life in the AL Central after roaring into August, and I like them to take the first game here and narrow the gap in the standings.
Pick: Tigers -135