Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
The Detroit Tigers will look to win two straight games for the first time since going to 4-0 two weeks ago when they welcome in Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and the Los Angeles Angels of Orange County, Planet Earth or whatever they’re calling themselves these days.
At long last, fifth starter Drew Smyly will receive his first start of the season–and first since 2012. Theoretically, he gets a tough draw as Angels’ ace Jered Weaver gets the nod, but Weaver has been anything but an ace thus far in 2014.
Detroit Tigers (7-5) vs. Los Angeles Angels (7-8) — 7:08 P.M.
Comerica Park – Detroit, MI
Radio: WXYT 1270
Weather: 58 degrees, chance of rain
When We Last Met
- The Angels have seemingly had the Tigers’ number for quite a few seasons now, but this was especially the case in 2013 when L.A. tormented Detroit by sweeping all six games played.
- Los Angeles outscored Detroit a staggering 46 to 17 last year.
- The Angels are on a nine-game winning streak over the Tigers. If they win all three games this weekend, they’ll still be short of their record of 14 straight wins over Detroit set in 2002-03.
- Despite recent struggles, the Tigers hold the all-time series advantage, 316-298, dating back to the Angels’ expansion year of 1961.
- The Tigers hold an all-time advantage of 173-135 in Detroit, but are just 27-33 in Comerica Park.
- Friday’s starter, Jered Weaver, engaged in a pitcher’s duel with ex-Tiger Doug Fister in the teams last meeting on June 27. Phil Coke surrendered two runs in the top of the 10th inning resulting in a 3-1 defeat at Comerica Park.
After being promised a rotation spot all winter and spring, Drew Smyly (1-0, 0.00) will finally get his shot. The Tigers odd schedule filled with numerous off-days and weather postponements has precluded Smyly from getting a shot earlier. In fact, he would have started Thursday’s game against the Cleveland Indians to face their lefty-heavy lineup, but snow and cold intervened in those plans.
Smyly has been effective in just two appearances in relief, earning the win on April 4 after taking over for Anibal Sanchez after a rain delay and going three innings of one hit shutout ball. Five days later, he earned a hold in three innings, again in relief of Sanchez, in a 7-6 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Smyly appeared in relief against the Angels twice in 2013, allowing three runs and six hits in seven innings of work. Only Josh Hamilton has more than six at-bats against Smyly. While he’s hitting .300, Hamilton is out until mid-May with a broken thumb. Mike Trout has one hit in six at-bats.
After winning 20 games in 2012, Jered Weaver (0-2, 5.79) regressed to 11-8 with his highest ERA since 2009 last season. He’s made three starts so far in 2014 and hasn’t allowed fewer than three runs, including allowing five and four runs in his last two starts. He’s been allowing the long ball more frequently as well, allowing five–four alone by the Houston Astros–the ASTROS?
He faced the Tigers only once last year, in that above mentioned pitchers duel but didn’t factor into the decision. Victor Martinez has hit Weaver well with six hits in 19 at-bats. Ian Kinsler has faced Weaver quite often from his years in the AL West, but has struggled with a .232 average in 82 at-bats.