May 7, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers designated hitterVictor Martinez
(41) runs the bases after he hits a home run off Houston Astros relief pitcherBrad Peacock
(41) in the sixth inning at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
The Detroit Tigers are playing boring baseball, but it’s the good kind of boring baseball whereby they simply beat everybody. They’ve now won eight games in-a-row with a chance to make it nine as they go for the four-game series sweep against the Houston Astros on Thursday afternoon.
Detroit Tigers (20-9) vs. Houston Astros (10-24) — 1:08 PM ET
Comerica Park — Detroit, MI
TV: Fox Sports Detroit
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket (click for radio affiliates)
Weather: 75 degrees, partly cloudy
When We Last Met
Rick Porcello was brilliant (6.2 IP, 5 SO, 2 BB, 0 HR, 2 ER), the Tigers offense got home runs from Miguel Cabrera (2-run shot in the first inning) and Victor Martinez (solo blast in the sixth), and the bullpen shut things down (2.1 IP, 5 SO, 1 BB, 0 H, 0 R combined between Joba Chamberlain and Joe Nathan) as the Tigers beat the Astros 3-2 on Wednesday night.
The Astros will send out Dallas Keuchel to face Drew Smyly in the series finale. According to the FSD broadcast on Wednesday night, the two starting pitchers were roommates at the University of Arkansas back in their college days.
Keuchel has been pretty good this year with an ERA at 3.96, but his peripherals are even a little bit better than that. He’s punched out nearly 22% of the batters he’s faced (league average is about 20%) and only walked 7% (league average is a tick over 8%) which has lead to a 3.35 FIP and 3.08 xFIP. His fastball only sits at 89-90 mph, but he also appears to feature a cutter, a slider, and a changeup.
Drew Smyly has been fantastic in his last two starts after struggling mightily in his first time out against the Angels. Since then he’s pitched 13 innings with 13 strikeouts against only three walks and eight hits while allowing just two runs.
- Rajai Davis, LF
- Ian Kinsler, 2B
- Miguel Cabrera, DH
- Victor Martinez, 1B
- J.D. Martinez, RF
- Austin Jackson, CF
- Nick Castellanos, 3B
- Bryan Holaday, C
- Danny Worth, SS
- Anibal Sanchez – 15-day DL
- 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