The Detroit Tigers (28-32) and Chicago Cubs (20-40) will open up a three-game interleague series on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field in Chicago, with the first pitch scheduled for 8:05 ET
Detroit Tigers at Chicago Cubs
Detroit opened up its six-game road trip against National League Central opponents by taking two of three from the Cincinnati Reds, including a 7-6 win on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. “Taking this series was big,” commented Tigers manager Jim Leyland. “You can tell in the locker room.” The Tigers have been led offensively by Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, but one of those batters will likely have a hard time doing anything at the plate on Tuesday. Fielder has just six hits in 48 at-bats (.125) against the Cubs scheduled starter. Detroit is 3-5 as a road favorite of -125 to -150, with the “over” going 5-3 in those contests.
Tigers starting pitcher Max Scherzer (5-4, 5.88 ERA) was handed a 9-6 home loss by the Cleveland Indians last time out, allowing eight runs (five earned) and seven hits over 4.1 innings. The right-hander has tallied a 4-2 record and 5.17 ERA in seven road outings, surrendering eight home runs in 38.1 frames. He didn’t factor into the decision of a 7-2 road loss to the Cubs in his only career start against them, allowing one run (zero earned) and five hits over six innings on May 10, 2008, as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Chicago has dropped 20 of its last 25 games, and will have a hard time in avoiding only its third 100-loss season in franchise history. The Cubs won just two of 10 games on their recent road trip, coming away with an 8-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday afternoon. “Hopefully, you change the pace,” stated Cubs manager Dale Sveum. Any sort of turnaround will need to occur over the next 18 games, as the club plays 15 of those at Wrigley Field. Chicago is 14-25 in interleague play over the last two-plus seasons.
Cubs starting pitcher Paul Maholm (4-5, 5.10 ERA) has watched the club drop his last five outings, as the offense has produced just 11 combined runs over that span. The left-hander is 3-2 with a 3.99 ERA in five home outings this year, with opponents hitting .223 against him. In two career starts versus the Tigers, Maholm is 0-1 with a 2.38 ERA, including a 2-0 home loss as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates last year.
Bettors will likely back the Tigers due to their 4-1 record in Scherzer’s last five starts as a road favorite, while the Cubs are 7-21 versus AL Central opponents.
Pick: Detroit Tigers -124
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