Tigers pull off historic gambling upset against Astros

What is believed to be the biggest upset in baseball history, gambling-wise, has transpired. The Tigers beat the Astros and their former ace Justin Verlander, 2-1 (box score), on Wednesday night. Prior to the game, ESPN.com posted a story noting that their sources indicated the Astros being favored at -500 was the largest in at least 15 years and "likely longer." 

They reported that the previous heaviest favorite was -485 with the Dodgers over the Braves in 2016 (the Dodgers won). 

Gamblers still kept loading up on Verlander and the Astros, however, and the MGM Grand ran all the way to -600 in time for the first pitch. That's amazing.

For those unaware, -600 means you have to bet $600 in order to win $100 or $60 to win $10, etc. With the margin so thin, it's almost not even worth the action, since the winner isn't guaranteed. 

Sure enough, the Tigers came through. Someone betting $100 on the Tigers just won $600. 

Smart bettors can make money on baseball, but it's generally the toughest professional sport in which casual gamblers can succeed on a daily basis. Let Wednesday's result in Houston serve as a good illustration there. 

The Tigers hit two solo homers off an otherwise dominant Verlander. The Astros ace became just the fifth pitcher ever to have a 10 (or more) strikeout streak of at least seven games. The other four pitchers: Chris Sale (twice), Pedro Martinez, Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson. Here's his final line:

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Justin Verlander HOU • SP • 35
IP9.0
H2
ER2
BB0
K11

Houston came close to tying, even possibly walking off for the win. In the ninth inning, Tigers closer Joe Jimenez struck out the first two batters before Robinson Chirinos hit a line drive to right-center field. Chirinos, who went 4-for-4 in the loss, was a triple shy of the cycle. The Astros catcher tried to stretch it out for a triple, but was thrown off at third base thanks to a great relay throw from center fielder Harold Castro. Here's how that unfolded:

Prior to that, in the eighth inning, Jose Altuve got on base via a walk from right-hander Buck Farmer who then got Alex Bregman to ground out for the inning-ending double play after Altuve tried to go from first to third.

The Tigers and Astros will take the field on Thursday for their four-game series finale. Fans can stream the game regionally via fuboTV (Try for free).

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered every World Series since 2010. The former Indiana University baseball player now lives on the... Full Bio

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