Detroit Tigers at Oakland Athletics

Even with Mr. Perfect Dallas Braden on the mound the Oakland Athletics are still underdogs today when the play host to the Detroit Tigers.

Detroit Tigers (22-17) at Oakland Athletics (20-20) The early line for the Tigers at A’s had Detroit listed as a -125 road favorite at Bovada and Oakland down at +105 with a total of 7.

One of the big reasons the Tigers are a road favorite tonight is because they’re sending their ace Justin Verlander to the mound. Verlander (4-2, 3.88) has posted a win in his last three starts and last time out he tossed 6 2-3 shutout innings versus the Yankees, while holding the Bronx Bombers to four hits.

In seven career starts against Oakland Verlander is 3-3 with a 3.07 ERA and five of those starts were in Oakland where he posted a 1-3 mark and a 3.38 ERA.

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Braden will be making his second trip to the mound since pitching a perfect game against the Rays. In his first outing since perfection last time out against the Angels he was tagged with the loss after surrendering four runs on seven hits in eight innings. He’s faced the Tigers six times in his career and hasn’t fared too well with a 2-2 record and a 7.34 ERA.

The Tigers arrive in Oakland after a short two-game series at home against the White Sox. In the finale on Tuesday the Tigers lost 6-2 as a -145 favorite after their offense failed to get things going versus Sox hurler Freddy Garcia. The A’s completed a sweep of a two-game series versus the Mariners on Tuesday with a 6-5 win in extra innings.

Kurt Suzuki delivered the game-winner with an RBI single in the tenth and finished the game 3-5 with a pair of RBI. Today’s game is the first of the season between the Tigers and A’s, but last season Detroit edged Oakland in the season series taking five of nine.

However, the A’s trumped the Tigers at home with a 4-2 record against them at Oakland Coliseum. Oakland has owned the Tigers at home over the last three years with an 11-4 mark. If you’re betting on today’s game you may want to take Oakland as the underdog. The Tigers may have their ace on the mound, but Verlander has pitched better in Detroit than on the road this season.

His ERA in Detroit (2.45) versus his ERA on the road (5.48) is proof of that. The same holds true for Oakland’s Braden. He’s posted a tidy 2.00 ERA at home this season, compared to a lame 6.50 mark on the road. Watch for Braden to outduel Verlander and lead the A’s to an upset win.

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