Detroit Tigers (73-85) at Chicago White Sox (74-85) — 8:10 PM ET
U.S. Cellular Field — Chicago, IL
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket (click for affiliates)
Weather: 60 degrees, mostly cloudy
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In most of their series this month, the Detroit Tigers have had the opportunity to play the role of the spoiler to other teams. They will not be doing that in their final series of the 2015 season against division rival Chicago White Sox, except for posterity purposes.
On the surface, these two teams having nothing to play for, but the team that wins the series will avoid finishing in the AL Central basement. It would be the first time finishing there for the Tigers since 2008 and 2013 for the White Sox.
When We Last Met
Meeting in Detroit last week, the Tigers were swept in a day-night double-header on September 21, but bounced back to claim the final two games of the series.
The Tigers currently have a 9-7 advantage in the season series heading into Friday’s game.
Don’t expect a Derek Jeter-style sendoff for Alfredo Simon (13-11, 5.18) in what is probably his last appearance in a Detroit Tigers’ uniform. It hasn’t really been all bad for Simon, he has turned in a couple of really nice outings, including a complete game, one-hit shutout, and his 13 wins lead the ballclub this year, but when he’s been off (a lot), he’s been WAAAAYYYY off.
Simon’s problem this year is allowing early runs, as he did in the first inning of his last start on Saturday, although he ended up giving his team innings after settling down, going eight innings of four run, eight-hit ball. He has allowed 11 runs in two games (1-0) against the White Sox this season.
Chris Sale (12-11, 3.48) was my preseason pick to win the AL Cy Young award, but he has struggled greatly this season. In his last five starts, he has allowed three or more runs in all but one of them, including his last outing where he allowed three runs in a loss to the New York Yankees.
When Sale was sharp earlier this year, the Tigers were seemingly missing his starts and in the previous 16 games played between the rivals, only two of them were started by Sale. He won one and received a no-decision in the other while allowing seven runs in 11+ innings. His last start against Detroit came way back on May 6.
Detroit Tigers Lineup
- Rajai Davis-LF
- Andrew Romine-1B
- J.D. Martinez-RF
- Nick Castellanos-3B
- Jefry Marte-DH
- James McCann-C
- Dixon Machado-SS
- Alex Wilson-2B
- Anthony Gose-CF
- Victor Martinez — Day-to-Day
- Jose Iglesias — Day-to-Day
- Anibal Sanchez –Out for the Season
- Joe Nathan — Out for the Season