Detroit Tigers vs Atlanta Braves — 1:05 PM ET
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Joker Marchant Stadium — Lakeland, FL
Radio: WXYT 1270 AM (Click for Affiliates)
Live Stats: MLB Gameday
Weather: 80 degrees, partly cloudy
After a road trip 90 minutes south to play the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota, the Tigers return to the friendly confines of Joker Marchant Stadium for a Thursday afternoon contest with the Atlanta Braves.
The Braves are one of the closest teams to the Detroit Tigers’ spring home of Lakeland, Fla. As such, the teams play each other often throughout the Grapefruit League season. Today will be the first of five Spring Training games between Atlanta and Detroit, with the Tigers heading to Walt Disney World to face the Braves in two days.
When We Last Met
The (Spring Training) rivals also met five times in Florida a season ago, with the Tigers’ going 4-1-1. Detroit and Atlanta last tackled in the 2013 regular season at Comerica Park. The Tigers swept that series which was highlighted by a game in which Anibal Sanchez set a Tigers’ franchise record with 17 strikeouts.
The Braves missed the postseason last year, finishing the season under .500 (79-83) for the first time since 2008.
Detroit Tigers Lineup
Tigers’ fans will get their first look at Alfredo Simon, brought over in a trade for Eugenio Suarez and Jonathan Crawford. Simon started the 2014 season well for the Cincinnati Reds and was named an All-Star before faltering down the stretch. It was Simon’s first extended time as a starter during his career.
UPDATE: Yoenis Cespedes was a late scratch. Updated lineup below.