Saturday’s Major League Baseball Best Bet: Kansas City at Detroit

May 9, 2015


To say that Kansas City starter Jeremy Guthrie is a disaster would be an understatement. The right-hander is 1-2 with a 6.52 ERA and 1.58 WHIP this season, including posting a 7.31 ERA and 2.00 WHIP versus division opponents, a 9.00 ERA and 1.83 WHIP in day games and a 7.31 ERA and 2.00 over his last three outings.  Those alarming numbers alone could make Detroit a Best Bet.

Matters won’t get any easier for Guthrie as he owns a career 4.90 ERA and 1.55 WHIP versus the Tigers, including yielding a combined 24 runs on 34 hits in his last four starts against Detroit (18 IP). Over the course of 23 career games consisting of 128.3 innings pitched against Detroit, Guthrie has given up an alarming 162 hits!

Jeremy Guthrie’s 2015 Metrics:

5.77 FIP & 5.00 xFIP
5.45 SIERA
8.7% K% (1.10 K/BB)
1.55 HR/9 & 3.41 K/9

Meanwhile, Detroit right-hander Anibal Sanchez is 6-2 with a career 1.40 ERA and 0.95 WHIP versus the Royals, having never allowed more than three earned runs in eight career outings. In fact, Sanchez has limited Kansas City to one run or less in seven of his eight career starts! I also like the fact that Sanchez toes the rubber in good form, boasting a 3.05 ERA and 0.92 WHIP over his last three starts.

Anibal Sanchez’s 2015 Metrics:

3.75 FIP & 3.77 xFIP
3.60 SIERA
8.51 K/9 & 2.19 BB/9
22.9% K% & 5.9% BB%

The situation could not be better for Detroit, who rakes Guthrie, who struggles in day games. In fact, the Tigers are 13-3 (+10.0 units) in day games this season wherein they are hitting .309 with a .370 on base percentage (6.1 runs per game). Detroit’s bullpen, which gives me heartburn, excels in the afternoon sun, posting a 3.18 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 2015. And, just to confirm that this season is not an outlier for Guthrie, the veteran hurler posted a 4.96 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in nine day starts in 2014.

From a technical standpoint, Kansas City is 23-41 in the month of May over the last three seasons, whereas the Tigers are 10-3 versus .601 or greater opposition, 14-4 in their last eighteen games versus starting pitchers with a WHIP greater than 1.30, 13-6 following a win and 35-17 versus division foes.

Today’s home plate umpire, Mark Ripperger, also represents a 59.6% winning proposition for home teams in his career, including garnering a 60% win rate for home squads over the last three seasons. Take Detroit as my Best Bet and invest with confidence.

Major League Baseball Best Bet: Detroit Tigers (-148)