Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians Game 4 Preview, TV Coverage, Lineup
By Matt Pelc
Detroit Tigers (3-0) at Cleveland Indians (2-1)— 4:10 PM ET
Progressive Field — Cleveland, OH
Cleveland Indians Home Opener
TV: FSD, For out-of-market fans, most cable and satellite providers have a free preview of MLB Extra Innings in the season’s first week)
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket (click for affiliates)
Weather: 52 degrees, mostly sunny
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After an extremely successful opening home stand for the Detroit Tigers, where you can count the mistakes the team made in the three game sweep over the Minnesota Twins with probably two fingers or less, the competition will begin to get much tougher. The Tigers will head on their first road trip of the season and be the home opening opponent for two teams with postseason aspirations.
The first stop is against the arch-rival Cleveland Indians as the Tigers look to continue their recent dominance at Progressive Field.
It is the first time since 1986 that Detroit will serve as Cleveland’s home opening opponents, a 7-2 win behind Walt Terrell (the losing pitcher was Phil Niekro).
While the Tigers rolled through the Twins, the Indians won two straight games in Houston after dropping Opening Day. Cleveland pitching held Houston to just three runs in the series and nearly pitched a combined no-hitter on Thursday until a ninth inning homer spoiled the effort.
When We Last Met
The Tigers were 11-8 against the Indians last year. A late season surge helped them to this advantage after struggling early, including being sweep in Progressive Field at the first series there, but they lost just once in their final seven games in Cleveland.
The Indians finished in third place, narrowly missing out on a bid to go to the postseason two straight years.
It would be hard to call them a “dark horse,” because a lot of the national media (and cough, cough yours truly) is picking Cleveland to win the AL Central.
After fellow rotation newcomer Shane Greene continued the string of dominant Detroit Tigers’ pitching efforts, the ball gets handed to Alfredo Simon (15-10, 3.44). The former Cincinnati Red who came over in a trade for Eugenio Suarez and Jonathan Crawford had a rough spring with an ERA at 7 with five Grapefruit League starts under his belt. His last two games were very good, however, allowing one run over his final 13 innings pitched.
He faced the Indians in Cleveland once last season in his first full year as a starter and was torched for five runs on six hits in five innings of work.
Still just 27, the Indians are hoping that Zach McAllister (4-7, 5.23) can finally take the step up the team has been waiting for since his full-time Major League arrival in 2012 and join the stellar Cleveland rotation in dominance. He was so bad last year that he was sent to AAA in early August and didn’t return until being recalled in the September roster expansion.
The Tigers didn’t do much against him last year, surprisingly. They faced him four times in three starts and he posted a 1-0 record with a bloated 4.32 ERA. That 2014 victory was the lone win of his career against Detroit, going 1-2 with a 4.66 ERA in 10 games.
Detroit Tigers Lineup
- Anthony Gose-CF
- Ian Kinsler-2B
- Miguel Cabrera-1B
- Victor Martinez-DH
- J.D. Martinez-RF
- Yoenis Cespedes-LF
- Nick Castellanos-3B
- Alex Avila-C
- Jose Iglesias-SS
- Bruce Rondon — 15-day DL
- Justin Verlander — 15-day DL
- Joe Nathan – 15-day DL
- Michael Brantley — Questionable
- Gavin Floyd — 15-day DL
- Nick Swisher — 15-day DL
- Zach Walters — 15-day DL
- Josh Tomlin — 15-day DL
Next: Tigers and Royals are AL Central's best infield defenses