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Today’s MLB slate is tiny, with just six games all day, including two this afternoon.

Thus, our MLB analysts are focused on just one of those six games, but have two different bets to recommend on Tigers vs. Guardians this evening.

Here are our best bets from the Major League Baseball slate on Thursday, August 17.

MLB Best Bets

The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our MLB betting staff is targeting from today’s slate of games. Click on the team logos for any of the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.

By D.J. James

The Detroit Tigers have actually been above average when facing a right-handed pitcher in August. They own a .770 OPS and a 113 wRC+, which is about as good as they have performed in any stretch.

Xzavoin Curry owns an Average Exit Velocity of 92.1 mph and a Hard Hit Rate of 47%. His ERA is 3.39, but his xERA is 5.15. He may only be walking around 6% of batters, but his strikeout rate hovers around 16%.

Meanwhile the Guardians will have to face Tarik Skubal. He has a 4.17 ERA against a 2.70 xERA. His Average Exit Velocity is a touch under 90 mph, so he has a small edge there. His Hard Hit Rate is also lower than Curry’s at 43.7%. He blows Curry out of the water with whiffs, getting batters to strike out 27.7%, while only walking 4.6% of them.

The Guardians are atrocious offensively against lefties. They have a .399 OPS and a 7 wRC+ in August. The Guardians have the bullpen edge, but the Tigers’ bullpen still ranks in the middle of the pack in August with a 4.31 xFIP.

Backing the Tigers is the play given their tremendous edge both in starting pitching and offense. Take them at -135 or better.

Pick: Tigers ML (-135)

By Kevin Rogers

The Tigers and Guardians both sit below the .500 mark as they begin a four-game series in Cleveland this weekend.

Detroit opened as an away favorite coming off a road victory at Minnesota on Wednesday as the Tigers send out southpaw Tarik Skubal to the mound. Skubal has struggled on the road this season by owning a 9.64 ERA in three starts away from Comerica Park.

Skubal is looking to replicate his home numbers, where he has given up one run in four starts. The left-hander yielded three runs in 12 innings against Cleveland in two outings last season, even though the Tigers split those games.

The Guardians return home from their two-game split in Cincinnati, as Cleveland owns a 2-5-2 mark in its last nine home series openers in the first five innings.

In the last five games against left-handed starting pitchers, the Guardians have scored a total of two runs in the first five innings, while compiling a 1-3-1 mark in that span.

Xzavion Curry counters for Cleveland tonight as the right-hander is coming off consecutive outings tossing five innings. However, the Guardians are 0-4 in his last four starts overall, although his two home losses came with the opponent scoring runs in the ninth inning or later.

Let’s back Detroit -0.5 in the first five innings tonight at Cleveland priced at -106. I recommend taking this up to -115.

Pick: Tigers F5 RL -0.5 (-106)

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