The Tampa Bay Rays are rolling the dice for Thursday’s matchup with the Detroit Tigers. Should you put them in your MLB picks anyway?
Detroit Tigers vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Thursday, September 16, 2021 – 07:10 PM EDT at Tropicana Field
Imagine getting your first crack at the big time, failing miserably, then waiting four years to get a second chance. If you’re Dietrich Enns, you don’t have to imagine; he had a cup of coffee pitching for the Minnesota Twins in 2017, but it was that nasty coffee you get at truck-stop diners. Enns appeared in four innings spread across two games, giving up a home run in each contest and posting a 9.41 FIP. Back to the minors you go.
Fast-forward to 2021, and here we are with Enns getting the start for the Tampa Bay Rays this Thursday when they host the Detroit Tigers. This isn’t his first game back in the bigs, though. Enns has pitched 16 innings of relief since getting called up last month, and thus far, the lefty from Frankfort, Illinois has allowed just six runs and zero homers with a sparkling 1.73 FIP. Have the Rays worked their magic yet again? Are they the right MLB pick for this matchup as -195 home faves at Bovada Sportsbook? Let’s find out.
Here Come the Tully Monsters
If we ignore for now the small sample size we have on Enns, the projections say there isn’t much value on either side. FiveThirtyEight have Tampa’s chances of winning at 64 percent, which is the same as -178 when you run it through the BMR Odds Converter. That also doesn’t give us any value on Detroit at +160. The oddsmakers know what they’re doing.
Here’s the thing: Enns was pitching in the independent leagues last year, after leading the minors in home runs allowed in 2019. He was the only player with MLB experience on the Tully Monsters, one of four Illinois teams fighting for the newly-formed City of Champions Cup. At this level, Enns was a baseball god, striking out 42 batters in 25 innings with one walk (!) and a 0.480 WHIP. Nice, but there have been precious few players to reach the majors after playing in a beer league – and I use that term affectionately, as a fan of both beer and the indies.
Anyway, Enns probably won’t go very deep into Thursday’s game no matter how well he pitches, so that will minimize his chances of getting smacked around. But the Tigers are also using a spot starter of sorts in southpaw Tyler Alexander (4.50 FIP), the No. 5 pitcher in their rotation. He started last Friday against Tampa Bay and allowed just one run over 4.1 innings, as the Tigers (+145 at home) won 10-4.
Nice, but maybe the Over is the right pick here with these two gentlemen taking the mound; Bovada has the total at nine runs as we go to press, with the Over priced at -105. We’ll buy that for a dollar.
*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.