Detroit Tigers (72-83) at Texas Rangers (84-71) — 8:05 PM ET
Globe Life Park — Arlington, TX
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket (click for affiliates)
Weather: 84 degrees, partly cloudy
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For nearly half of the season, the Detroit Tigers were ahead of the Texas Rangers in the standings and it looked like the Tigers had a better shot at making the postseason for a fifth straight season than the Rangers, a team that had sat out in October for the last two seasons.
Fortunes began reversing shortly before the trading deadline and while the Tigers may have made the biggest splash in selling on July 31, the Rangers may have made the biggest addition, adding Cole Hamels to set up a run to the finish.
The Rangers eventually overtook the upstart Houston Astros, who had led the division nearly the whole season, and now are on the cusp of their fourth postseason berth in the last six seasons.
Meanwhile the Tigers had done a pretty good job of playing spoiler, until dropping two of three to the Minnesota Twins over the weekend. They will try to do so one final time in their last series of the year against a playoff contender.
When We Last Met
The Tigers took the first game of the series at Comerica Park last month, 4-0, with a complete game shutout and one-hitter for Alfredo Simon, but the bats went quiet and scored just five runs in the last three games to lose all three game.
One of the few bright spots of the second half of the Detroit Tigers’ season has been the reemergence of the team’s ace, Justin Verlander (4-8, 3.49). In his last dozen starts, J.V. has posted a vintage Verlander ERA of 2.27. Unfortunately that has not translated into many victories for him or the team as the Tigers are just 6-12 in his starts this year. Lately that has been due to bullpen collapses or no offensive support, although he did pick up a rare victory in his last outing, throwing seven innings of three-run, five-hit ball in the 7-4 win over the White Sox. In that game, Verlander ratcheted up the radar gun to 99 miles per hour.
One of these hard luck losses Verlander has suffered this year was at the hands of Texas, when he allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits in seven innings of a 2-0 loss on Aug. 21. He is 3-1 with a 3.52 ERA in five regular season starts in Texas.
Colby Lewis (17-8, 4.36) was on the other end of that pitcher’s duel and he has been able to return to ace status this season for the resurgent Rangers. After that start in Detroit, Lewis lost his next three starts after being rocked for 15 runs in 15+ innings, but has since turned in three quality starts, allowing just four runs, including a complete game shutout on Sept. 11 against Oakland.
Detroit Tigers Lineup
- Anthony Gose-CF
- Tyler Collins-LF
- Miguel Cabrera-1B
- Victor Martinez-DH
- J.D. Martinez-RF
- Nick Castellanos-3B
- James McCann-C
- Andrew Romine-2B
- Dixon Machado-SS