The Detroit Tigers (60-66, 27-36 away) and the St. Louis Cardinals (63-60, 34-29 home) begin a two-game interleague series Tuesday night in St. Louis. The Tigers took two a pair from the Cardinals earlier this season in Detroit.
The first pitch of Tuesday’s contest is set for 7:45 p.m. EST inside Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO. According to oddsmakers, the Cardinals are favored in the matchup (-215), and the total run over-under is at 8.
What to Know – Detroit Tigers
Detroit comes into the series having dropped six of their last ten contests, including four in a row during the middle of last week. However, the Tigers took two of three from Toronto this weekend and carry some momentum into tonight’s game. The rebuild continues for the Tigers, who find themselves in third place in the American League Central, 12 games behind the leading Chicago White Sox.
The expected starter for the Tigers is right-hander Casey Mize (6-6, 3.69 ERA, 1.17 WHIP). Mize has been used carefully this season, exceeding 100 pitches only twice over 23 starts. The 24-year old tossed four innings against the Angels his last time out, allowing two runs on four hits, four walks, and striking out four.
Offensively, the Tigers rank 22nd in the majors in on-base percentage (.307) and 21st in slugging percentage (.398). Second baseman Jonathan Schoop leads the Tigers with a .284 batting average and 69 runs driven in. Outfielder Robbie Grossman has team-highs in stolen bases (15) and runs scored (67) to go along with 18 blasts this season.
What to Know – St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals rallied to win six in a row earlier this month but turned around and dropped four of six last week. St. Louis remains in the playoff picture, 4.5 games outside of the second wild-card spot in the National League. The Cardinals are third in the NL Central, 12 games back of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Staff ace Jack Flaherty (9-1, 2.68 ERA, 0.96 WHIP) takes the hill for hosts. Flaherty missed the entire months of June and July due to injury but returned mid-August and hasn’t missed a beat. The 25-year old fired six innings, surrendering two earned runs on four hits with one walk and eight strikeouts his last time out.
The Cardinals’ offense is similar to Detroit’s, ranking 21st in the MLB with a .310 on-base percentage and 23rd in slugging percentage (.392). Third baseman Nolan Arenado leads the Cards with 25 home runs and 80 RBIs, while outfielder Tyler O’Neill has 21 home runs and ten stolen bases.
The Pick is In
St. Louis has the edge on the mound with Flaherty and has to be upset with their performance over the weekend, dropping two of three to the PIrates. The Tigers won’t get many runners on against the Flaherty, and the Cardinals have the bullpen to keep Detroit in check. Mize has the tools to match Flaherty on the mound, but the young star won’t go deep into the game, turning the ball over to a shaky bullpen.
The Pick: St. Louis Cardinals -1.5