In 4th place and sinking just a couple of weeks ago, I warned bettors to exercise restraint during Tigers games. They were bound to come crashing down to Earth.
Crash they did! It was ugly. The Tigers suffered through a horrible rough stretch – losing 11 of 13 including a 9-game losing streak.
It’s all over now! Detroit survived the downswing and is now making a second push for playoff contention. The Tigers have won 6 games in a row and find themselves ½ a game back of the 8th seed in the American League with 27 to go.
It takes an emotionally strong fan to follow Detroit this year. At certain points throughout the 2020 MLB season I’ve been positive the Tigers are out of the playoff hunt. Other times, I’ve been extremely optimistic that they can sneak in.
What Has Changed for Detroit During This 6-Game Streak?
The Tigers were 11-16 (40.7%) with an average moneyline of +139. The long lines saved bettors and the team only lost -$110 over these 27 games which is an ROI of -4.0%.
On the runline, Detroit was 10-17 (37%) with average odds of -117. This is horrible. $100/game bettors suffered a -$1,035 loss which is a -30.5% ROI.
Detroit was getting outhit, outhomered, and outscored nearly every night. Check out this graph. The orange is Detroit’s first 27 games. The blue is their last 6.
Runs, hits, extra base hits, homeruns, and walks drawn are all up during this 6-game streak. Tigers strikeouts are down – which is much needed as Detroit struck out more in August than any other team in the league.
During this 6-game win streak, the Tigers are obviously 6-0 on the moneyline. Their average line is now +153. The line is longer for two reasons. One, they are playing much tougher opponents (Indians, Twins). Two, the awful slump Detroit went through lowered expectations from “pretty low” to “super low”.
These 6 wins make for a profit of $915, which is a ludicrous ROI of 152.5%! The Tigers are winning on the runline, too. They are a perfect 6-0 with an average winning margin of 4.5 runs. Because the runline is -124, the profit is a bit lower – $610 – and the ROI is “merely” 83%.
Which Tigers Players Are Stepping Up?
Utility man Willi Castro is 9 for 21 (.429 avg) with 2 doubles, a triple, and a dinger plus 3 runs driven in over the past 6 games. Castro will need to continue this outburst to cover the loss of center fielder Jacoby Jones who is now out for the season with a broken hand.
Jones was hitting .268 with 5 homers and 14 RBIs plus playing elite defense from center field and bringing good speed on the paths.
Tigers starting pitching is finally pulling its weight. Michael Fulmer is on a strict pitch count – pitching just 3 innings per start in his 2 outings during this streak. He pitched well enough to get Detroit the win in each game. Fulmer threw 6 innings between the 2 games, allowing 6 hits, 4 walks, and 2 earned runs while striking out 7 batters.
Matt Boyd finally got off the schneid, picking up a win against division rival Minnesota and improving his 0-4 record to 1-4 while dropping his 8.48 ERA to 7.27.
Future stars Tarik Skubal and Casey Mize each aided the Tigers’ effort against the Twins as well. Skubal picked up his first career win against Minnesota, throwing 5 innings of 3-hit ball and allowing just 2 earned runs.
Mize did not last long enough to get a decision, but allowed just 2 runs on 2 hits while striking out 4 in 3 innings of work to keep his team in the game and allow Detroit to secure the victory in the late innings.
The Tigers are back in the playoff hunt and playing better baseball. Once again, don’t invest too much in this team! Their moneyline is already shortening during their ongoing series with Milwaukee – which only decreases the already slim value Detroit possessed.