The Detroit Tigers look to start a new winning streak tonight as they once again take on the division rival Cleveland Indians. Detroit holds a 7.0 game lead in the division (over both the Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals) and a 9.5 game lead over Cleveland.
Detroit Tigers (27-13) at Cleveland Indians (12-25) — 7:05 PM EDT
Progressive Field — Cleveland, OH
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket (click for radio affiliates)
Weather: 69 degrees, partly cloudy
When We Last Met
The Tigers used a ninth inning pinch hit solo home run off the bat of J.D. Martinez to tie the game and force extra innings, but Cleveland struck in the bottom of the tenth inning when Michael Brantley belted a solo home run of his own (with two outs) to give the home team a walkoff win and snap Detroit’s six-game winning streak.
Justin Verlander is tonight’s scheduled starter for the Detroit Tigers. His strikeout numbers have been low through the first quarter of the season (7.05 K/9, the lowest since his rookie year) and his walk rate has been elevated (3.60 BB/9, the second-highest rate of his career), but a lack of home runs allowed (0.30 HR/9, less than half his career rate of 0.78) has kept his ERA (3.15) and FIP (3.14) at their normal rates. I’d expect that home run rate to regress upward in the coming weeks and months, so JV is probably going to want to correct the strikeout and walk rates accordingly.
Prospect Trevor Bauer will get the start for the Indians. He’s made one previous big league start for Cleveland this season and performed very well going six innings with eight strikeouts and two walks (plus a hit batsman) against just two runs (one earned). Bauer has been mowing down AAA batter this season — in 46 innings he’s posted a 2.15 ERA while striking out nearly a batter per inning. He’s struggled with wildness in his previous major league appearances, walking 31 and hitting 3 batters in 39.1 career innings.
- Ian Kinsler, 2B (R)
- Torii Hunter, RF (R)
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B (R)
- Victor Martinez, DH (S)
- Austin Jackson, CF (R)
- Nick Castellanos, 3B (R)
- Alex Avila, C (L)
- Danny Worth, SS (R)
- Rajai Davis, LF (R)
- Luke Putkonen - 15-day DL
- Joel Hanrahan - 15-day DL
- Andy Dirks - 60-day DL
- Jose Iglesias - 60-day DL
- Bruce Rondon - 60-day DL