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Free MLB Pick May 8

#972 Detroit Tigers (Boyd) -115 over Los Angeles Angels (Skaggs) 6:10 PM CT

Matt Boyd has shown flashes of greatness in his MLB climb the past three years but this season he has put it all together to emerge as one of the AL’s top pitchers. Detroit lacks a great offense behind him but Boyd has posted a 3.05 ERA and actually a 2.10 FIP that is the strongest in the entire American League by a wide margin. His 11.6 K/9 is also among the best strikeout rates in the league and he had accomplished that rate with a very low walk rate. Boyd had had to pitch at Fenway and at Yankee Stadium this season as it has been a difficult path and he is riding six consecutive quality starts since a marginal first outing in late March.

The Angels have been competitive this season but the offensive numbers fall off a cliff vs. left-handers with a .631 team OPS vs. southpaws, the fifth worst mark in MLB compared to a very strong .774 team OPS vs. right-handers. Not surprisingly the Angels are 13-10 vs. right-handed starters but only 3-9 vs. left-handers. Detroit has been one of the lowest scoring teams in baseball but the Tigers are a winning team at Comerica Park where Boyd has posted even stronger numbers. The Tigers are also a much better hitting vs. left-handers with a jump of 28 points in team OPS.

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Tyler Skaggs looked like a breakout candidate in a shortened 2018 season but he hasn’t matched that pace this season even if his ERA is 3.12 in 26 innings this season. His strikeout rate has plummeted while his FIP of 4.22 is more indicative of his future path of mediocrity. In his five starts Skaggs has faced a bottom seven team in MLB in team OPS vs. left-handers four times as he has drawn a very favorable path and still has had marginal results. His road ERA is also nearly double his home ERA and the Angels are only 5-10 in road games on the season. Detroit’s bullpen has rough numbers of late but with decent starting efforts the past two games the unit should be in better shape for Wednesday night.

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