Baseball lines favor Atlanta on Friday as they host Detroit in Grapefruit League action.
The Braves have been featured a lot on ESPN this week in baseball odds and that will be the case again on Friday. The Tigers are a very good team and they are capable of winning this game vs. the baseball odds.
Baseball lines on Detroit list them as a close third choice in the American League Central behind Minnesota and Chicago. It is really a three team race in the American League Central and the Tigers are right in the mix. If Detroit is to take the step up to beat the Twins and White Sox they could sure use some more pitching. Two pitchers they are counting on are Dontrelle Willis and Nate Robertson. The Tigers already have Justin Verlander as their ace but they need more depth behind him. The Tigers have two open spots in their rotation and Willis and Robertson are in the mix.
Robertson needs to have a good spring if he is to get a spot. He is trying to make changes this year and get outs without strikeouts. "I like getting outs with other pitches. That’s the thing," Robertson said. "Strikeouts are fine if you can get to a strikeout count and then make a pitch, but I like getting the ball in play early on pitches other than fastballs. If I’m doing it with a breaking ball or a changeup, that means I’m commanding the zone, they’re seeing something that’s enticing and getting out front a little bit. That’s a big thing." Manager Jim Leyland said that Robertson has a shot. "I think Nate’s feeling good about himself," Leyland said. "He’s doing fine. He’s doing all right."
The Tigers are considering Willis as well although it could be that Willis emerges as a left-handed setup man. "I just wanted to show skip whatever he wants me to do, I’ll be ready," Willis said. "If I have the opportunity to pick up where Bobby Seay left off, whatever he wants me to do, I’ll do it."
The Braves don’t have as many pitching issues. Their one concern has been the health of Jair Jurrjens but he has looked good so far. He is looking at being in the lineup on April 7th against the Cubs and he could be favored in baseball lines.
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