Tigers vs. Diamondbacks MLB Best Bet: Cy Young Contender Keys the Under

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Tarik Skubal #29 of the Detroit Tigers delivers a pitch against the Houston Astros during the top of the first inning at Comerica Park on May 11, 2024 in Detroit, Michigan. Nic Antaya/Getty Images/AFP

We have a typical Friday 15-game slate of Major League Baseball betting matchups, including a matinee at Wrigley Field. And we have three plays that we feel hold great betting value.

These plays are based mostly on our proprietary model, along with the MLB odds at the top sportsbooks. One of the best bets for Friday comes in the desert where our model likes the total when the Tigers visit the Diamondbacks.

MLB Pick: Under 8 (-110) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Under 8 (-110)
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Detroit Tigers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

Friday, May 17, 2024 – 09:40 PM ET at Chase Field

Tarik Skubal of the Tigers has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this year, but he may not get much run support from a cold Detroit offense tonight. With Ryne Nelson of the Diamondbacks good enough to keep the Tiger bats cold, bet the Under with the roof closed in Arizona.

Cy Young Contender

If the season ended right now, Skubal would be in the running for the American League Cy Young Award. He is a perfect 5-0 while ranking sixth in the majors in ERA at 2.02 and fourth in xFIP at 2.53. He is also tied for second in pitching WAR at 1.8, only negligibly behind Boston’s Tanner Houck at 1.9.

And there is really nothing in Tarik’s peripherals to suggest that he may slow down any time soon. He has an outstanding K/BB ratio of 11.02/1.47 per nine innings, with those punch-outs legitimized by a career-high 14.9% swinging-strike rate. He also has an excellent soft/hard contact ratio of 19.0% / 20.7% combined with a good 43.8% ground ball rate.

Offense Not Roaring

Given the expected dominance of Skubal, Nelson has some leeway in giving up a few runs while still keeping this game below the posted total. And he does have underwhelming surface stats at 2-2 with a 5.33 ERA. His xFIP is more than one run lower though at 4.21, and since a rough season debut, Ryne has allowed three runs or less in four of his last five starts while allowing four runs the other outing.

More importantly, the Tigers are in an offensive funk right now. They were shut out in each of the last two games by a sub-par Miami pitching staff, managing just 11 singles without an extra-base hit over those 18 innings. That has sunk the Tigers to 23rd in wRC+ against righties this season at 92, or 8% below average.

The Pick

And let us not forget that the closed roof tonight negatively affects both offenses without the added carry of the desert air.

In the end, we still see the Tigers scoring enough runs to prevail here, but we foresee struggles for both offenses. With this in mind, we are officially backing the Under in Chase Field.

Predicted Score: Tigers 4 – Diamondbacks 2

MLB Pick: Under 8 (-110) at Bovada

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Under 8 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.