|Public Betting: Tigers at Blue Jays Spread, Odds, Trends & Matchups|
|Written by Anthony Rome|
|Thursday, 17 April 2008 20:55|
Kenny Rogers came into this year looking to work his way back to consistency after an injury-filled 2007 season.
Instead, things only appear to be getting worse for the veteran left-hander.
Rogers will look to turn around his season and avoid losing his eighth consecutive decision on Friday when the Tigers continue their road trip and begin a four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Toronto –131 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 9.5 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 80% of bets for this game have been placed on Toronto -131 (View MLB Bet Percentages). Bet this game.
After Rogers allowed just two runs on five hits in six innings in his first start of the season against Kansas City, it appeared he might have been on his way back to form after he missed most of last season due to elbow and shoulder problems.
But Rogers (0-3, 6.75 ERA) only lasted 4 2-3 innings in Boston on April 8, and was tagged for seven runs, seven hits and four walks in just four-plus innings of an 11-0 road loss to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.
"I'm supposed to be consistent and I was very uncomfortable out there and inconsistent," said Rogers, who has lost a career-high seven consecutive decisions since his last win on July 4.
The Tigers (5-11) haven't scored a run for Rogers in any of his three starts in 2008, but their offense appears to have awakened. Despite an 11-1 loss at Cleveland on Thursday, Detroit has still won three of four, scoring 31 runs over that span. The team had managed only 33 runs in the previous 12 games.
In his 448th major league start, the 43-year-old Rogers will be opposed by left-hander David Purcey, who will be making his big league debut.
Purcey was Toronto's first-round pick in the 2004 draft, and despite battling arm injuries last season, he began this year 2-0 with a 1.89 ERA in three starts for Triple-A Syracuse.
"He's one of our guys," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He was a big pick for us a few years ago, and he was off to a good start down there."
Purcey struck out 21 in 19 innings with Syracuse, limiting opponents to 12 hits. He'll likely be sent back to the minors regardless of Friday's result.
A.J. Burnett was originally slated to pitch Friday's game for the Blue Jays, but he was pushed back to Sunday after throwing an inning in relief in Wednesday's 7-5, 14-inning loss to Texas.
The Blue Jays (8-8) lost again to the Rangers on Thursday, though their bullpen had a much-needed night off as Roy Halladay pitched a complete game in Toronto's 4-1 defeat. The Blue Jays left nine men on base and hit into a pair of double plays.
"The intensity and the effort were there, but we just couldn't mount any offense," Gibbons told his team's official Web site. "We've been getting some hits, and we got some hits (Wednesday), but we haven't been able to string anything together to push too many runs across the plate."
They've had trouble doing so at home against Rogers, too. The veteran hasn't pitched at Rogers Centre since 2004, but he's 6-4 with a 3.24 career ERA there, recording three complete games in 11 starts.