Detroit Tigers (78-65) vs Kansas City Royals (79-62) — 4:08 p.m. ET
Comerica Park — Detroit, MI
TV: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB Network
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket (click for affiliates)
Weather: 74 degrees, clear
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- The biggest series of the year for the Detroit Tigers and the Kansas City Royals could go a long way to skewing the American League Central one way or another. The Royals lead the Tigers by two games heading into this contest.
- The Tigers will be at a bit of a disadvantage in this one. Originally scheduled for a 7:08 p.m. first pitch, the team agreed to move this game up three hours to accommodate the Detroit Lions’ season opener on Monday Night Football, meaning it will be a day game after a night game while the opponents were in town before the conclusion of the previous game. Seeing as how games rarely finish under three hours, with kickoff a little after 7 p.m., good luck with parking for the Leos, folks!
- In last place near the end of June, Kansas City is 36-24 since July 1, and that includes losing three of four to Detroit before the All-Star break.
- Miguel Cabrera is in the lineup after being removed last night, but will DH. Don Kelly and Andrew Romine get another start each in CF and SS.
When We Last Met
While the Tigers and Royals have been battling in the standings throughout the second half, this is the first time the teams will face each other since the final series before the All-Star break. The Tigers continued their domination this year in Kansas City by winning the first three games of that series (July 10-13) before losing a lead in the final game. They led the then second place Royals by 6.5 games and all seemed right in the world. Today? Well, not so much.
While the Tigers have dominated KC on the road (6-1), they’ve been so-so at home at 3-3, losing the first three of a four-game series in June.
Justin Verlander‘s (12-12, 4.80) up-and-down season hit another sour note in his last start. Two appearances ago, he pitched the best statistical game of his season, limiting the White Sox to one run on nine hits, striking out eight through seven innings. Wednesday against the Indians, it was a different story as J.V. allowed seven runs (six earned) in 6 2/3 innings. It’s also been an up and down season for Verlander against KC. He has pitched against them three times, a decent outing on Opening Day, no-hit them through five innings in a win in May and was shelled in a loss in Detroit in July.
Jeremy Guthrie (10-10, 4.31) likewise has experienced a rather average season. His last time out he held the hapless Texas Rangers to one run through seven innings but recorded a no-decision. It has been a tale of two seasons for Guthrie against Detroit. He pitched brilliantly in a 2-1 win back in June, but was shelled for eight runs in four innings on July 10.
Detroit Tigers Lineup
- Ian Kinsler-2B
- Torii Hunter-RF
- Miguel Cabrera-DH
- Victor Martinez-1B
- J.D. Martinez-LF
- Don Kelly-CF
- Nick Castellanos-3B
- Alex Avila-C
- Andrew Romine-SS
- Miguel Cabrera – Day-to-Day
- Anibal Sanchez – 15-day DL
- Joakim Soria – 15-day DL
- Luke Putkonen – Out indefinitely
- Andy Dirks – Out indefinitely
- Joel Hanrahan – 60-day DL
- Jose Iglesias – Out for season
- Bruce Rondon – Out for season