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MLB Betting Preview: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Detroit Tigers- July 3rd, 2014

The Tampa Bay Rays and Detroit Tigers will meet on Thursday for the first of a four game series at Comerica Park. Tampa Bay comes into the game as winners of five straight games after sweeping the Yankees to start the week. Despite the hot play of late, the Rays are still in last place in the American League East. Tampa Bay trails the Blue Jays by 9.5 games. Detroit comes into the game as the leaders of the American League Central. The Tigers are 13 games over .500, and enjoy a 4.5 game lead over the Kansas City Royals in the division. Detroit has won 8 of their last 10 overall. Tampa Bay is 19-24 when playing on the road, while the Tigers are 22-19 at home.

Tampa Bay will send veteran lefthander Erik Bedard to the mound in this game. On the season, Bedard has a 4-5 record with a 4.21 earned run average. In his career, Bedard is 71-81. In his most recent start, the lefthander shut down his former team; Baltimore through 7 innings. He allowed just 5 hits and 3 runs in the win. Offensively James Loney and Evan Longoria appear to be the go-to-guys. Loney leads the way with a .280 batting average, while Longoria has struck 10 homeruns, and leads the team with 45 runs scored. The Rays are batting .249 as a team, which ranks them 10th in all of Major League Baseball.

For Detroit, they will send Cy Young candidate Max Scherzer to the mound. The 29 year old is 82-48 in his career, including a 9-3 record in 2014. Scherzer in third in the American League with 132 strikeouts. In his most recent start, Scherzer went 7 innings, allowing 7 hits and 2 runs while striking out 13. Unfortunately for him, he did not receive a decision despite the Tigers winning 4-3. Offensively, Detroit is the second best slugging percentage team in all of baseball. The Tigers have a .440 percentage, as well as a .275 batting average. Individually, Victor Martinez is putting up Most Valuable Player type numbers. Martinez leads the team with a .330 batting average, as well as 20 homeruns.

Consensus

While Tampa Bay has played good baseball as of late, Detroit is tough to beat, especially at home. Scherzer is going to be on the top of his game in this one. Take the Detroit Tigers at home in this one. You are getting a big time favorite in this one, in betting the Detroit Tigers -172.

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