Detroit Tigers vs Houston Astros

Detroit Tigers vs Houston Astros | 2021 MLB Expert Analysis

Written by on April 12, 2021

Former No. 1 overall pick Casey Mize take the hill for the Detroit Tigers on Monday as they open a series at the Houston Astros, who are favored on the MLB odds behind ace and former Cy Young winner Zack Greinke.

How to Bet Tigers at Astros MLB Odds & TV Info

Season Series

First meeting; the teams haven’t played since 2019.  Since the start of the 2013 season, Detroit has posted a 22-25 record against the Astros, including a 10-14 mark at Minute Maid Park. The Tigers look to rebound from the recent trend of results, which has seen them drop 11 out of 13 against Houston.

Why Bet on Detroit? | 2021 MLB Expert Analysis

The Tigers were swept three games over the weekend in Cleveland, losing the finale Sunday 5-2. Wilson Ramos continued his hot start with homer No. 4 on the young season. Ramos hit a solo shot to center field off Indians’ reliever Nick Wittgren in the seventh inning to trim the Tigers’ deficit to a single run. The 33-year-old veteran catcher has already homered nearly as many times in seven games as he did in 45 with the Mets during the 60-game season last year.

Also Sunday, the Tigers put future Hall of Famer and former AL MVP Miguel Cabrera on the 10-day injured list with a left biceps strain. The 37-year-old fouled off a pitch in the seventh inning Saturday and grabbed his left arm briefly afterward. Cabrera finished the at-bat but obviously felt worse after the game. Manager AJ Hinch said Cabrera has been dealing with soreness for a while and felt it “grab.”

Cabrera, 37, who has 488 career home runs, is off to a slow start in 2021. He is batting just .125 (3-for-24) with one homer and three RBI in seven games. To replace Cabrera, the Tigers selected the contract of infielder Renato Nunez. He spent the past three seasons with the Baltimore Orioles and had a career-high 31 homers in 2019.

It’s former No. 1 overall pick Casey Mize (0-0, 2.25) on the mound here. Mize threw four innings while allowing one run in his season debut Tuesday against the Twins. Mize needed 82 pitches to get through four frames. He ran into his fair share of trouble, allowing five hits with a pair of walks, but he managed to limit the damage. Williams Astudillo had an RBI single in the fourth inning, but Mize was able to escape a bases-loaded jam to finish his outing.

Mize didn’t have a great first season in 2020, but there were so many variables in the shortened season that this feels like a fresh start. So far, he’s already ramped his fastball up over 97 mph and showcased the splitter/slider combo that made him the No. 1 overall pick in 2018.

Why Bet on Houston? | 2021 MLB Expert Analysis

The Astros had a rare off day Sunday but lost two of three from Thursday-Saturday to the Oakland A’s. Kyle Tucker went 1-for-4 with a home run during Saturday’s loss to the Athletics. The solo blast came in the seventh inning off Frankie Montas. Tucker’s fourth home run of the year traveled 376 feet to the right-field bleachers in Houston with an exit velocity of 108.4 miles per hour. The 24-year-old has struggled with a .189 batting average so far this season, but now has four home runs and 11 RBI through 37 at-bats.

Star third baseman Alex Bregman wasn’t in the lineup Saturday. Astros manager Dusty Baker told reporters that Bregman’s legs are a “a little sore,” so expect Bregman to be back in there Tuesday. Bregman hit .471 with two home runs over his first four games but is 1-for-12 over his last three starts.

DH Yordan Alvarez has totaled 90 RBI in his first 98 career MLB games. Only four players in MLB history have tallied as many RBI within their first 97 career games: Walt Dropo (103 RBI), Rudy York (98), Joe DiMaggio (96) and Ted Williams (91).

It’s Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.38) on the bump here. He held the Angels to two runs over seven strong innings Tuesday, taking a no-decision in the Astros’ 4-2 victory. Things were a little shaky for Greinke early on. After Shohei Ohtani reached on an infield single with one out in the first inning, Mike Trout followed with a mammoth blast measured at 464 feet. He stranded a runner at second base that inning and another one in the next frame, and after that it was smooth sailing, with Greinke facing just one over the minimum in his final five innings of work.

The right-hander was making his 461st career start, the most among active pitchers. He’ll look to notch his 210th career win Monday. Greinke has reinvented himself to stay in the game and keep building a Hall-of-Fame career. He’s become a crafty pitcher with several weapons that go, on average, from 71.5 to 88.5 MPH.

Expert Prediction

  • Astros 5, Tigers 3

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