Seattle (Paxton) at Detroit (Verlander) -130 O/U 8.5
The buy sign appears to be on Seattle's James Paxton who has looked very sharp over his last three starts. Paxton's velocity is way up (mid-90's) which has his strikeout rate just below 12 per nine innings. He's also managed to improve his command with a respectable six walks over 22 innings. Despite command and mechanical issues throughout his career, Paxton still flashes an impressive 3.13 ERA over 187 innings. After a slow start to the year, Justin Verlander has found his stride -- and his ability to miss bats with 64 strikeouts over his last 58.1 innings. He's no doubt been a bit fortunate with only 75 hits allowed in 93 innings, but he's pitched like a middle-of-the-rotation arm for much of the season and I don't see any major "red flags" that scream serious regression at this point. What should also help both starters tonight is umpire Mark Ripperger who over last four seasons has produced nearly 61% unders over a 74 game sample. In 13 games behind the dish this season, his games have averaged only 5.6 runs. We'll look that way for tonight's contest with 8.5 even money currently widely available.