**EARLY** Rogers' Daytime ROUND TRIPPER >> 5-0 SWEEP Sunday!
Kansas City vs. Detroit,
04/02/2018 13:10 EDT,
Score: 1 - 6
Money Line: -109 Detroit
The set-up: Neither the KC Royals nor Detroit Tigers were expected to be serious playoff contenders in 2018 and each team flopped badly in this season's opening four-day weekend, despite playing at home. The Royals were rained out Sunday against the White Sox, after losing 14-7 on Thursday and 4-3 on Saturday. As for the Tigers, their season-opener against the Pirates was postponed on Thursday and they then lost Friday 13-10 in 13 innings. Saturday's game was again the victim of bad weather, before Detroit lost both ends of Sunday's doubleheader with Pittsburgh, 1-0 and 8-6. It seems like much longer ago than 2015, that Kansas City dethroned Detroit as "the boss team" in the American League Central Division. When the teams meet Monday afternoon to open a three-game series at Comercia Park, KC enters 0-2 and Detroit 0-3.
The pitching matchup: The Royals will send Jason Hammel (2017: 8-13, 5.29) to the mound, while the Tigers counter with lefty Francisco Liriano (2017: 6-7, 5.66 ERA). KC manager Ned Yost pushed Sunday's scheduled starter, Jason Hammel, back to Monday. Hammel is coming off his worst season since his 2007 rookie campaign, as the Royals went 11-21 in his 32 starts, losing $947 against the moneyline. He started five times against Detroit last season but was only 1-0 with a 4.13 ERA (note: KC was 4-1 in his five starts vs. Det.). Hammel is a modest 3-2 with a 6.09 ERA over 14 games against the Tigers, 11 of them starts. Liriano is pitching for his sixth different team since 2012 (pitched for Toronto & Houston in 2017) and is looking to bounce back after posting his highest ERA since 2009. His new home hasn’t been kind to him, as the 34-year-old is 4-7 with a 5.80 ERA in 15 career games (12 starts) at Comerica Park. However, Liriano has fared slightly better against the Royals, going 7-5 with a 4.36 ERA in 19 contests (16 starts), including a win last season.
The pick: Detroit had a win wiped off the board on Friday, when the apparent winning run was overturned by replay, leading to a 13-10 loss in 13 innings.The Tigers look to jump on Hammel, coming off an ugly season and they are hoping his early-season struggles of 2017 (Hammel went 0-3 last April over five starst, as KC went 0-5 while he posted a 6.65 ERA!) will resume here. Plus, the Tigers will welcome a shot at a Kansas City bullpen that has allowed 12 runs and 11 hits (including 4 HRs) over eight innings. Detroit's new manger Ron Gardenhire joked that Detroit is 1-2, still rankled about the overturning of what would have been a game-winning single in the 10th inning Friday afternoon. He gets that "official" first win of 2018, here. Make the Tigers an 8* play.