The American League Central-leading Detroit Tigers (45-34) opened
up a key three-game series with the AL West-leading Oakland Athletics (51-31)
on Monday and took a 3-2 lead in the season series with a 5-4 home victory in
the opener. The Tigers and A's split a four-game set earlier this year in
Oakland, and they will meet again in the former's home field of Comerica Park on
Tuesday when Detroit starting pitcher Rick Porcello (10-4, 3.41 ERA) squares
off against Oakland SP Brad Mills (1-0, 4.35) at 7:08 p.m. (ET).
Click here to check the latest MLB scores and odds
Both the A's and Tigers currently reside among the best six
teams in baseball right now according to the latest edition of the Don Best
Advantage MLB Power Ratings. Oakland had won four straight and nine off 11
heading into this series with Detroit, but Don Best COO Kenny White said there's
one statistic that has helped put the A's into the top spot.
"Oakland is dominating Major League Baseball with a +134 run
differential - by far the most," said White, who updates his MLB Power Ratings
weekly at DBA. "The next is the (Los Angeles) Dodgers at +55. That's a huge
difference. It's amazing though, Oakland is more than double of anybody, they're
playing that well."
The A's (-164) sit 10 cents higher than the second-best team
in the MLB Power Ratings, the San Francisco Giants (-154), and 28 cents ahead
of the sixth-ranked Tigers (-136). However, White still thinks Detroit's
pitching staff matches up better with Oakland if they were to meet again in the
playoffs. Last year, the Tigers lost two
of the first three games between the teams in the ALDS before advancing with a
3-2 series victory.
"They do well in the regular season and then fizzle out in
the playoffs because they don't have the big names," White said of the A's. "It's
going to be up to Sonny Gray (7-3, 3.20) because they don't really have any
other real dominant starters. They're amazing, how they do it."
In the National League, White likes the Dodgers (48-37), who
pulled a half-game ahead of San Francisco (46-36) in the NL West with a 1-0 win
over the Cleveland Indians on Monday. LA (-149) is ranked third in White's MLB
Power Ratings, winners of three in a row and 11 of 14, while the Giants have
dropped four straight and six of seven.
"I think the Dodgers are the best team (in the NL), and
Milwaukee and St. Louis are right there," White said. "(The Giants) aren't
playing well at all. I think (the Brewers) are for real."
Milwaukee (-140) rounds out the Top 5 in the DBA Power
Ratings, jumping two spots from seventh, as the second-best team in the NL
behind the Dodgers and directly behind the fourth-ranked Los Angeles Angels
(-145) overall. To view MLB Power Ratings for every team, click here to become
a DBA Member.