Daily Bet: Tigers (PK) vs. Orioles

Memo to baseball commissioner Bud Selig: No more four-day All-Star breaks. Seriously, I was thisclose to placing a WNBA wager last night—which means soccer wouldn’t have been far behind. Frightening.

Tonight, I’m siding with the Tigers, who were in the midst of a five-game winning streak when last we saw them. Since the final day of June, Detroit has won seven of nine, as its dormant offense has finally awoken (plating 52 runs over this stretch). On the other hand, the Orioles are starting to look like the team their long-suffering fans have come to know and loathe over the past two decades. Since June 18, Baltimore has dropped 13 of 19 to fall seven games back in the AL East.

Now, there’s no question that the O’s have the starting pitching edge here, at least on paper, with Jason Hammel (8-5, 3.47 ERA) opposing Detroit’s Doug Fister (2-6, 4.75). In fact, the Orioles are 5-2 in Hammel’s seven home starts, while the Tigers are winless in Fister’s six road outings. My response to those facts? Hammel has been pitching over his head, while Fister has underachieved tremendously this year. You have to think both with track back toward the middle in the
second half—a journey Hammel appears to already be taking (he’s 0-3 with an 8.10 ERA in his last three starts).

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆

July 6 Result: Padres (+120) vs. Reds (Loss)

Record: 23-20