Detroit Tigers (Mike Fiers) vs. Baltimore Orioles (Chris Tillman) Pick to Win – 4/27/18

Detroit Tigers (10-12) vs. Baltimore Orioles (6-18)
Where: Camden Yards, Baltimore, MD
When: Friday, April 27th, 7:05PM EST
by Kevin, Expert Baseball Handicapper,

Betting Odds

Side: Det -107/Bal -113
Total: 9.5

While scoping out opening lines, I was very surprised at both the side and total here. Orioles starter Chris Tillman has looked as bad as any starting pitcher over the past 5 seasons. Mike Fiers is a fly ball pitcher in a park where balls start flying out as the weather gets nicer.

What I Like About the Tigers

This team got a bad rap coming into the season. They lost Kinsler (overrated), Miggy had a bad 2017 (he was banged up) which led people to believe he might be done, the bullpen sucks, etc. While the team is only 10-12, they’ve had some very impressive victories, especially as of late where they’ve beaten the pants off a handful of teams and scored a ton of runs in doing so. Would you believe that Detroit has scored double-digit runs in 3 of their last 8 games? Six Tigers hitters are batting over .280 in their last 7 games.

What I like best about the Tigers is they’re facing Chris Tillman. The Orioles farm system must be hurting because it’s a minor miracle that this still guy has a job. Tillman has been so bad that while watching his last game I actually felt sorry for him. He was spiking balls into the ground, was up in the zone and lacked command in a way that usually gets you sent down to the minors after a game. Baltimore keeps rolling him out there though!

Saying Tillman is off to a rocky start is an understatement. He’s started 4 games and been terrible in all of them. If 30 hits over 17.1 innings weren’t bad enough, he’s given up 11 free passes as well. He’s missing so badly that he’s finding himself behind in counts and being forced to come over the heart of the plate. Guess what that leads to? 5 homers in 17.1 innings! For stat lovers, his ERA is 9.87 and his WHIP an unbelievable 2.37. For those unfamiliar with WHIP, that stands for walks plus hits divided by innings pitched. It essentially means that he’s (on average) putting 2.37 base runners on per inning! Opponents are hitting .395 against him.

What I like about the Orioles

Not much!

This team has been seriously underperforming, but we may see some nice production tonight as Detroit will have Mike Fiers on the hill. This is a bad spot for the veteran righty as he’s a fly ball pitcher going up against a team that likes to swing for the fences. Fiers appears to have a respectable 3.71 ERA, but his WHIP is 1.41, which tells me guys are getting on at an above average rate and nothing but luck has prevented them from scoring. Fiers is not a guy who can get away with that for long. As of late, he’s looked shaky. In his last couple performances he’s allowed 18 hits over 11 innings. That’s about 7 more than acceptable. The lowly Royals were one of the teams that he faced, so what does that tell ya? He’s not good. Last year, he gave up quite a few gopher balls as well. (32 in 153 innings, about DOUBLE what he should have allowed).

Baltimore is due for regression to the mean. The team is hitting .174 this year at home. That isn’t going to continue. Fiers is just the gas can the team needs to start rebounding. Last year Balt. was one of MLB’s better hitting home teams with a .268 average and 135 round trippers in 81 games. I’m not a big fan of a team being “due”, but with Fiers on the hill for Detroit, it could happen today.


Tonight’s forecast is for low 60’s. At time of print, the wind isn’t expected to play a factor as it’s predicted to be blowing from right to left at 5MPH. This park plays small when the weather is nice. If this game were played in July with the same variables/circumstances/pitchers/etc. this line could very easily be 11.

Public Consensus

I wasn’t very excited to see that the public agrees with me. I really like to be on the opposite side of the square take as Vegas wasn’t built on winners. Bookies drive Cadillacs, bettors drive Ford Pinto’s. I think you can see why it irks me out to share their sentiment. Over is typically the novice opinion, regardless of who’s playing so I’m not gonna let this bug me. Heck, even squares win almost half the time! At time of print, I was unable to determine what side the sharps are on or if they even like this game at all.

Final Thoughts

A couple gopher ball pitchers who give up tons of hits and one that gives up walks as well. I’m always suspicious of a total that looks too low. I usually pass in fear that I’ve missed something important. In this case, I believe the total is only 9.5 because neither of these teams get much respect as being hitting teams at this point in time so the book felt 9.5 was a fair number to throw out there. It wouldn’t surprise me if we saw this game fly over the total by the 5th inning.

Kevin’s pick to get the money: Detroit Tigers/Baltimore Orioles OVER 9.5 runs. See you at the cashiers window. I’ll be the guy with the wheelbarrow!

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