The Detroit Tigers are fighting the Detroit Red Wings and playoff hockey tonight, so coverage will be pushed to Fox Sports Detroit Plus on the TV side and WXYT 1270 AM on the local radio side. Television coverage will also be had on MLB Network for those tens of diehard baseball fans people around the country who have (premium) cable but not an MLB.TV subscription.
Detroit Tigers (9-7) vs. Chicago White Sox (10-10) — 7:08 P.M.
Comerica Park – Detroit, MI
Radio: WXYT 1270 AM (click for radio affiliates)
Weather: 51 degrees, partly cloudy
When We Last Met
The Tigers lost 3-1 last night in a game in which they quite frankly outplayed the White Sox. It wasn’t a great game by the Tigers (by any stretch), but they out-hit Chicago — a .315 wOBA to .219 wOBA advantage — and out-pitched Chicago — 2.15 FIP to 3.93 FIP advantage — on the night. They (i.e. the Tigers) did commit two errors in the field, but that didn’t end up being the difference in the game. Sometimes things just don’t come together on any given night.
Justin Verlander takes the ball for the Tigers tonight. He’s had good success in the ERA and FIP columns (2.08 and 2.66 respectively) despite having strikeout (6.9 K/9) and walk (3.5 BB/9) rates that are worse than his norms. He’s benefited from keeping fly balls in the yard, but his 4.41 xFIP suggests poorer results in the future if he doesn’t correct the peripheral numbers (assuming here a more normalized home-run-per-fly-ball rate). To the positive, his strikeout numbers have been high in his last two outings (11.2 K/9) after a dreadful first two (3.2 K/9).
White Sox ace Chris Sale has been placed on the disabled list, so Charlie Leesman will be called up from AAA to make the start against the Tigers. The 27-year old left-hander has spent most of the last three seasons in AAA where he’s compiled a 2.92 ERA with a 7.2 K/9 rate and a 3.7 BB/9 rate. Leesman threw 15 big league innings in 2013 without much success to speak of (7.04 ERA, 6.37 FIP).
The Tigers’ righty-heavy lineup should be able to do damage against left-handed pitching, with Alex Avila being the only hitter who will bat from the left side.
- Rajai Davis, CF (R)
- Ian Kinsler, 2B (R)
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B (R)
- Victor Martinez, DH (S)
- Torii Hunter, RF (R)
- J.D. Martinez, LF (R)
- Nick Castellanos, 3B (R)
- Alex Avila, C (L)
- Andrew Romine, SS (R)
- Luke Putkonen – 15-day DL (elbow)
- Andy Dirks – 60-day DL (back)
- Jose Iglesias – 60-day DL (lower leg)
- Bruce Rondon – 60-day DL (elbow)
Tags: Detroit Tigers