The Detroit Tigers (12-17) will go for an unlikely sweep of the New York Mets (16-15) after taking both games in Wednesday’s doubleheader. The Tigers open the day in third place in the American League Central with the Mets in third place in the NL East. After seemingly endless anticipation, Justin Verlander will finally make his New York debut, while Detroit counters with veteran lefty Eduardo Rodriguez (2-2, 2.21 ERA).
New York is a -175 moneyline favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook, making Detroit a +150 underdog with the over/under set at eight. My last eight moneyline and run total picks went 7-1, so let’s get after it while the bets are hot.
Mets-Tigers picks: Thursday, May 4
Out: RP Brooks Raley (elbow), RP Edwin Uceta (ankle), SP Carlos Carrasco (elbow), OF Tim Locastro (back), C Omar Narvaez (calf), SP Justin Verlander (shoulder), SP Elieser Hernandez (shoulder), RP Edwin Diaz (knee), RP Sam Coonrod (lat), RP Bryce Montes de Oca (elbow), SP Jose Quintana (ribs), RP Stephen Ridings (shoulder)
Day to day: 1B Miguel Cabrera (illness)
Out: OF Kerry Carpenter (shoulder), RP Trey Wingenter (shoulder), SP Matt Manning (foot), OF Austin Meadows (undisclosed), SP Beau Brieske (elbow), RP Freddy Pacheco (elbow), SP Tarik Skubal (elbow), SP Casey Mize (elbow)
Justin Verlander vs. Eduardo Rodriguez
Verlander will make his Mets debut after opening the season on the injured list with a shoulder injury. He was knocked out of nearly two full seasons due to Tommy John surgery before returning to his dominant self in 2022 with a 1.75 ERA over 28 starts with the Houston Astros.
Rodriguez is out to a hot start, especially in his last four outings where he’s allowed a combined two runs over 26.2 innings of work. In his latest start, Rodriguez allowed one run on four hits and two walks with five strikeouts over 5.2 innings of work in a victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
The Tigers exploded for 14 combined runs over yesterday’s doubleheader, but don’t let those numbers fool you. Detroit ranks dead last in OPS (.642) and while the Mets have the better offense, Rodriguez has been throwing very well in his most recent outings.
Pick: Under 8
Verlander is opening the 2023 MLB season at 40 years old, but I’m not worried about any sort of rust out of the gate. He has such a long track record of dominance, and going against one of the worst offenses in baseball isn’t scaring me away from the favorites.