Detroit Tigers vs Oakland A’s

Detroit Tigers vs Oakland A’s | 2021 MLB Expert Analysis

Written by on April 15, 2021

The rebuilding Detroit Tigers come off a shocking series win at the Houston Astros as the Tigers open a four-game set at defending AL West champion Oakland on Thursday night. The A’s are solid favorites on the MLB odds in a matchup between lefty pitchers.

How to Bet Tigers at A’s MLB Odds & TV Info

Why Bet on Detroit? | 2021 MLB Expert Analysis

The Tigers’ series win in Houston to start this week was a huge upset. It was Detroit’s first series win vs. Houston since July 28-30, 2017, and first at Minute Maid Park since Detroit’s four-game sweep from May 2-5, 2013. Detroit has a chance to record an above-.500 record vs. the AL West for the first time since 2014 (18-16). Detroit didn’t face AL West teams last year due to the shortened and regionalized schedule.

Tigers catcher Wilson Ramos leads the majors with six homers already. In 2016, he a career-high 22 home runs in 131 games for the Washington Nationals. But last year, the 12-year MLB veteran only picked up five homers in 45 games for the New York Mets.

A dream come true,” Ramos said. “I worked really hard during the offseason, and I feel that work paying off. Very excited because I feel 100% (healthy) right now behind the plate and on offense. I want to do what I can do, so I’m very happy for this moment in my career.”

Outfield Akil Baddoo became the only Tigers player to have four-or-more homers in the first eight games of his career, and first since 1931 to have at least one RBI in six-or-more of his first eight games.

It’s lefty and top prospect Tarik Skubal (0-1, 7.71) on the mound here. Skubal allowed three home runs over four innings on Saturday in Cleveland and looked relatively flat with his pitches. Through two starts, his fastball velocity and spin rate are down a tick from last year, but his secondary pitches are better.

Last season, Skubal’s fourseam fastball averaged 2422 revolutions per minute, which is well above the average of 2,307 rpms leaguewide. So far in 2021? That mark is down to 2,205 rpms through two starts. The pitch has gained about an inch of drop since last season, and it’s going to make it a little easier for hitters to get the bat on the ball.

Why Bet on Oakland? | 2021 MLB Expert Analysis

The A’s placed versatile Chad Pinder on the 10-day injured list with a knee sprain last week, but manager Bob Melvin indicated this week that Pinder should expected to miss a fair bit longer. Melvin called Pinder’s injury “worse than we originally anticipated” and added that he does “not expect him back anytime soon.” Pinder was out to a 3-for-10 start to the season, including a homer.

Oakland’s Lou Trivino earned his first save of the season Tuesday against the Diamondbacks. Trivino issued a one-out walk to Tim Locastro but promptly induced a game-ending double play grounder from Kole Calhoun to put the 7-5 victory on ice for the A’s. The 29-year-old right-hander could be the primary closer for Oakland with Trevor Rosenthal out indefinitely following thoracic outlet surgery. Oakland inked Rosenthal to a surprising $11M guarantee late in the offseason, so they’ll obviously be hoping to salvage some kind of return on that investment.

Ramon Laureano leads MLB with eight stolen bases this season – he has more stolen bases than all but three teams. Since the start of spring training, Laureano has approached shortstop Elvis Andrus — who holds 305 career stolen bases under his belt in 13 Major League seasons — on a near-daily basis for advice on how to improve that aspect of his game.

“You know, that’s another level type thing for him,” Melvin said of Laureano. “He’s been working hard with our base-running coaches about picking up stuff and getting good jumps.” Melvin added he believed Laureano has a strong chance to become an All-Star this season.

It’s lefty Sean Manaea (0-1, 5.06) on the mound here. Manaea tossed six innings with just one run allowed on six hits and one walk with four strikeouts in a no-decision against the Astros last Friday. Manaea kept the Astros bats in check in this one as he threw 62 of 97 pitches for strikes. Leaning on the sinker, he induced eight ground ball outs to zero fly outs.

The only damage against the 29-year-old southpaw came in the fourth inning as Yuli Gurriel crossed home plate on an RBI groundout by Kyle Tucker.  Manaea rebounded from a rough first start against the same Astros club, during which he yielded five earned runs and didn’t get out of the fifth inning.

Game Trends

  • Tigers are 1-7 in the last 8 meetings in Oakland.
  • Tigers are 5-21 in the last 26 meetings.
  • Under is 4-1-1 in the last 6 meetings in Oakland.
  • Under is 9-2-1 in the last 12 meetings.

Expert Prediction

  • A’s 4, Tigers 3
 
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