Civale’s Debut Should Tame Tigers

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Rays vs. Tigers, 1:10 ET

This has actually been a pretty decent baseball week. The largest play that I’ve ever put out on Outkick for baseball cashed with relative ease in the Twins vs. Cardinals. In fact, most of the multi-unit plays I’ve done this year have performed very well. I suppose with so few of them compared to how many games I’m betting, it makes sense. Let’s see if I have stronger confidence in this game between the Rays and Tigers than normal.

I mentioned in the article about the Twins and Cardinals from the other day that I really don’t know what the Cleveland Guardians are doing. They seemingly are giving up on the playoffs despite being a few games out of the division. Perhaps nothing was stronger of an indication of raising the white flag than them trading away today’s pitcher for the Rays, Aaron Civale. In July, Civale was able to throw 37.1 innings. and allow just six earned runs, good for a 1.45 ERA. That was one of the best ERAs in the month of July and the Guardians seemingly said, “Nah, we are good without that.” It wasn’t just July, either. He has been very good all season long when he wasn’t injured. He only has two games where he’s allowed more than two earned runs this season. Interestingly enough, to me at least, he pitched for the Guardians and didn’t face the Tigers at all this season. He has been good against them in his career though allowing just 13 hits over 61 at-bats.

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 14: Aaron Civale #43 then with the Cleveland Guardians makes his debut for the Rays. (Photo by Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images)

The Tigers tried to trade away both of their best starters. One of those trades worked out and they shipped Michael Lorenzen (another winner I gave out this week) to Philadelphia. Eduardo Rodriguez decided that his family being happy is more important to him than competing for the playoffs with the Dodgers. I get it and respect it. But, if the Dodgers hoist the World Series trophy at the end of the year, it will have to at least feel like a little bit of a gut punch. Anyway, the Tigers are back to being irrelevant in the division and baseball after working diligently to at least remain within potential striking distance after a bad start to the season. Today they send out Tarik Skubal to the hill with his 4.57 ERA and 1-1 record over 21.2 innings. He’s been superb at home with three starts spanning 13 innings and no earned runs allowed. The offenses he has faced at home this season: The Athletics, the Blue Jays, and the Giants. I’m not saying the Giants are bad, because they aren’t but of those three, the Blue Jays were the biggest surprise to me. Still, the Tigers went just 1-2 in those three starts by Skubal.

The Rays will win this game. I think that I’ll put about a unit and a half on this one rather than go too crazy, but knowing how good the pitching is in Tampa, I only expect Civale to get better. Plus, he now has a full lineup behind him that is capable of putting up good numbers and run support. I don’t actually like backing the Rays on the road much this season, but at -130 I like this bet.

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Written by David Troy

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