Some 12 hours later, I’m still trying to figure out how Tim Tebow snuck into Peyton Manning’s uniform in the first quarter last night and started throwing right-handed. That’s the only explanation I can come up with, as Denver’s new quarterback looked as bad as Denver’s old quarterback early on, throwing three ugly interceptions on his first three series. Actually, Manning’s interceptions didn’t kill yesterday’s play on the Falcons-Broncos over the total; it was Atlanta’s inability to convert those turnovers into touchdowns, as the Falcons turned the three gifts into just 10 points.
Undaunted, I’m going with another over/under play today, as it’s all about the starting pitching matchup in Motown. Oakland’s A.J. Griffin didn’t make his big-league debut until late June, but he has to be considered a strong Rookie of the Year candidate. In 11 starts, Griffin is 6-0 with a 1.94 ERA, including 4-0 with a 1.15 ERA on the road. The right-hander has allowed two runs or fewer in nine of his 11 outings (never giving up more than three runs), and in his last three trips to the mound, Griffin has surrendered a whopping two runs, 15 hits and one walk (with 18 strikeouts) in 20 1/3 innings.
Griffin’s counterpart tonight, Detroit’s Max Scherzer, has been solid all season (16-6, 3.77 ERA). But he’s been off-the-charts impressive in his last seven starts, yielding just seven runs, 34 hits and nine walks with 60 strikeouts in 49 innings (1.29 ERA, 0.88 WHIP). During this run, Scherzer has started three times at home and allowed just two runs in 22 innings, with all three games staying under the total.
In fact, the under is 6-1 in Scherzer’s last seven starts overall, 6-1 in his last seven home starts, 18-6-3 in the Tigers’ last 27 games overall, 13-3 in their last 16 at home, and 4-1 both in Oakland’s last five overall and in its last five on the road. Furthermore, in a year in which there’s been more scoring in the bathroom of a Vegas nightclub than there has on MLB fields, the Tigers (60-81 over/under record) and A’s (59-79 over/under record) rank among the best under bets in the game.
Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Monday’s Result: Broncos-Falcons OVER 52 (Loss)