Manager Ron Gardenhire knew the Detroit
Tigers would take their lumps this season. What has been troubling to him lately is their sloppy play.Outfielders missing cutoff men. Pitchers failing to hold runners on properly. Infielders bobbling grounders. Batters swinging at pitchers out of the zone.The Tigers carry a three-game losing streak into a two-game series at Kansas City. Detroit left-hander Matthew Boyd will oppose right-hander Jacob Junis in the opener on Tuesday.Article continues below ...Gardenhire wants his team to play smarter and sharper.“We’ve got things to work on Mitch Williams Jersey , a lot of things to work on,” he said. “We’re trying to work on it and we’re touching on it just about every time it happens. We make sure we talk to them about it. All those little things will eventually pay off down the road.”Francisco Liriano was originally scheduled to start Tuesday, but Gardenhire shuffled his rotation to accommodate ace Michael Fulmer.Liriano will make a start later in the week because Gardenhire wants Fulmer to pitch every fifth day. Fulmer, who will pitch Wednesday’s matinee, made his first start since the All-Star break on Friday after recovering from an oblique strain.“Our goal here is to keep Fulmer on his five days because he’s coming through this thing,” Gardenhire said. “So we’re just kind of adjusting. Frankie’s one of those guys who can adjust. He’s done it before and he’s a veteran. He doesn’t have too many worries about those things, so we’re going to adjust with him.”Boyd (8-11, 4.09 ERA) held the Chicago White Sox scoreless for six innings in his last start. He also collected a victory in his last visit to Kansas City, giving up two runs in six innings and striking out seven on July 25.Improved control has led to an uptick in Boyd’s effectiveness. In his last nine starts, Boyd has issued just seven walks while striking out 51.In 12 career starts against Kansas City, Boyd is 3-6 with a 6.40 ERA.Junis (6-12, 4.70) has gone winless in his last four starts http://www.philliesfanproshop.com/authentic-dave-cash-jersey , but he hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of them.“It’s been encouraging to have some consistent starts in a row,” Junis told MLB.com. “I was slumping pretty hard, so to bounce back and have some strong ones since the All-Star break, it’s encouraging to finish this season strong.”In his last start at Tampa Bay on Wednesday, Junis pitched 5 2/3 innings and gave up four runs, but only two were earned.“It’s not encouraging, (because) I’ve got a good feeling about Jake, so I don’t need to be encouraged,” Royals manager Ned Yost told MLB.com. “This is what I expect out of Jake. I expect him to go out and make starts like this. I expect him to execute pitches and have a good slider and keep us in the game.”Junis has faced the Tigers more than any other team in his two-year career and consistently given them fits. He is 5-1 in six starts with a 3.44 ERA.The Royals have lost six of their last eight games. The Boston Red Sox (104-49) will visit the Cleveland Indians (85-67) on Friday as small road favorites at sportsbooks in a battle between two American League teams that have already clinched their respective divisions.The Red Sox won the AL East for the second year in a row on Thursday with an 11-6 road victory against the New York Yankees, while the Indians have already taken home their third consecutive AL Central title. MLB betting line: The Red Sox opened as -130 favorites (wager $130 to win $100); the total is at eight runs, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)MLB betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 4.6-3.0 Steve Carlton Jersey , Indians (MLB picks on every game)Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or at OddsShark.libsyn.com for more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week's top sports betting news. Why the Red Sox can pay on the MLB linesBoston will be guarding against a potential letdown here in a possible playoff preview with ace Chris Sale (12-4, 1.92 ERA) on the mound. The 29-year-old went just three innings in his last outing on Sunday versus the New York Mets, allowing one hit with no walks and one strikeout on 42 pitches. The Red Sox are trying to squeeze a couple more starts out of Sale before the end of the regular season, and he is reportedly hoping to throw 65 pitches at Cleveland. If they can get five innings from the southpaw, they will have a shot to win. Why the Indians can pay on the MLB linesThe Indians will send their AL Cy Young candidate Trevor Bauer (12-6, 2.22 ERA) to the hill opposite Sale, and he will be coming off the disabled list. The 27-year-old suffered a lower leg fracture in mid-August and is only expected to throw a couple innings, with Shane Bieber (10-4, 4.50 ERA) relieving him and likely pitching a majority of the game for Cleveland.Like Boston with Sale, Cleveland wants Bauer to simply see some game action in preparation for the playoffs, as his last start took place on August 11. He is 5-0 in his last eight outings http://www.philliesfanproshop.com/authentic-aaron-nola-jersey , while Bieber has split his previous four. Smart betting pickThese teams do not have much to play for in this spot, as they wouldn't meet in the postseason until the AL Championship Series if both advance that far. That said, each of the starting pitchers will be limited, so do not expect them to play a major role in determining the final outcome.The over is 3-1-1 in the past five meetings, though, according to the OddsShark MLB Database, and the best bet is that trend continuing.MLB betting trendsThe total has gone over in four of Boston's last six games on the road.Boston is 7-3 in its last 10 games.Cleveland is 11-4 in its last 15 games when playing at home against Boston.All MLB odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.