MLB Betting Free Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates at Detroit Tigers
FREE PICK: Pittsburgh Pirates (Musgrove) at Detroit Tigers (Boyd)
#980 UNDER 7.5 (Tuesday, April 16 @ 6:40 pm EST)
It wasn’t eye-popping but Detroit’s Matt Boyd made a nice jump last season as he increased his K-rate over 1 per 9 innings, lowered his walk rate to a respectable 2.69 per 9, and lowered his ERA nearly a full run compared to 2017. Boyd threw a career-high 170.1 innings en route to proving he had enough stuff to stick in a MLB rotation.
This season, Boyd has taken off with a 2.60 ERA and 29 strikeouts over 17.1 innings. The competition wasn’t great with the Blue Jays’ offense being weak, the Yankees being extremely banged up, and the Indians being both weak and banged up. The other knock on Boyd would be the lack of home runs allowed. Normally a heavy fly ball pitcher, Boyd has allowed 26 fly balls yet not a single one has left the yard. That ratio will eventually regress but tonight’s game vs. a soft Pittsburgh lineup offers yet another opportunity for Boyd to shine.
Pittsburgh’s Joe Musgrove has been equally impressive with 15.1 scoreless innings under his belt. His last start, against a potent Cubs lineup, proved Musgrove’s early season success wasn’t a complete fluke as he posted six strikeouts while scattering four hits over 6.1 innings.
Some regression for both pitchers is coming as their ceiling remains more of the middle-of-the-rotation variety. But their current form, pitcher friendly weather and ball park, and unfamiliarity for both lineups suggests offense should be limited tonight in Detroit.