The Detroit Tigers may not be having a runaway stellar season, sitting at 42-41 midway through the season, but they have managed to put together one of the more surprising runs in baseball this season: beating the "over" in 18 straight games.
The Tigers have combined with their opponents to beat the Las Vegas odds-makers by combining with their opponents to score more runs than expected. People can bet on whether or not two matched-up teams will combine to beat this number every day. While only managing an 8-10 record in that span, the Tigers have scored a total of 105 runs and given up 118 for a total of 223. That's a combined run average of 12.4 per game for Detroit. By comparison, the over for today's game against the Seattle Mariners is only 8.
The Tigers gave up 14 runs to the New York Yankees on June 20 and scored 12 against the Mariners on Monday.
While struggling to put together a similar run in the wins column, the Tigers could have made some bettors very rich. According to a post by the Detroit Free Press, Pregame.com's RJ Bell said "the odds of it happening are about 128,000/1. And if you had bet $100 on the over in the first game of the streak and let it ride, you would have made more than $12 million."
A team that is consistently involved in combining for that many runs is either a great sign or a bad one. In Detroit's case, it hasn't boded very well, as it indicates the Tigers' pitching staff is not performing well. Though Detroit has won almost half of those games, most of their victories came in high-scoring affairs by both teams. The aforementioned win against the Mariners on Monday went final at 12-5, and the Tigers won 8-6 over the Toronto Blue Jays on July 3. The St. Louis Cardinals lead Major League Baseball with an earned run average (ERA) of just 2.62. The Tigers are in the bottom five giving up 4.25 runs per game. During this streak, Detroit's ERA is 6.5.
The Detroit Tigers started the season hot, winning their first six games and building their record to 11-2 before losing seven of their next 11 games. The Tigers finish up their series with the Seattle Mariners today before heading to Minnesota for a four-game series, their last before the All-Star break. Tigers' first baseman Miguel Cabrera will start for the American League in the All-Star Game on July 14. This will be the tenth appearance of his career.
[Image via ESPN]