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Detroit Tigers vs Houston Astros Spring Training Preview

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Mar 5, 2016; Melbourne, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) delivers a pitch against Washington Nationals during a spring training game at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 5, 2016; Melbourne, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) delivers a pitch against Washington Nationals during a spring training game at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Detroit Tigers look to make more progress in Spring Training with a contest against the Houston Astros on Wednesday.

The Detroit Tigers will face the Houston Astros as the team continues to build towards the regular season. Frontline starter Jordan Zimmermann will start for the Tigers. He’ll be supported by a lineup that includes a handful of starters and a number of potential bench candidates.

Detroit’s official Twitter account tweeted out the news of the lineup on Wednesday morning, announcing a lineup that is as follows. Anthony Gose will lead off and play center field. Jose Iglesias will hit second and start at shortstop. Second baseman Ian Kinsler is batting third, while right fielder Steven Moya is in the cleanup spot. Third baseman Casey McGehee follows Moya, and McGehee himself will be followed by designated hitter Mike Gerber. First baseman John Mayberry Jr, catcher Bryan Holaday and left fielder Tyler Collins round out the starting lineup.

While Detroit isn’t starting sluggers like Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Justin Upton or J.D. Martinez, the team could still be for a number of runs scored. Scores tend to be inflated in Spring Training, plus Steven Moya (.444 batting average, four home runs and eight RBI) and Bryan Holaday (.588 batting average, three home runs and nine RBI) have been on fire at the plate. This is all without mentioning Ian Kinsler, who is hitting .385 with a stolen base, two home runs, seven runs scored and 13 RBI in 26 at-bats.

Of the Tigers starters, only Gose and Kinsler have faced Houston’s pitcher, Brad Peacock in the regular season. Gose has a hit in two at-bats, while Kinsler has four hits, an RBI and a walk in 13 plate appearances.

Houston’s Struggles against Zimmermann

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It is a different story for Houston, as the Tigers opponents will start six players who have matched up with Zimmermann in the past. Second baseman Jose Altuve is a .167 hitter against Detroit’s starter, while George Springer and Colby Rasmus are both 1-for-3 lifetime against the former Washington National.

Houston’s other batters haven’t been so lucky. Jake Marisnick, Jason Castro and Carlos Gomez are a combined 0-for-19 against Zimmermann with a total of 14 strikeouts.

While Spring Training games don’t mean anything, it’s nice to know that some of the Astros struggle against Zimmermann.

For his career, the new Tiger has pitched five games against Houston. In those starts he’s posted a 2-2 record with a 2.93 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 30.2 innings pitched.

In addition to Zimmermann, the Tigers will also trot out a number of relief pitchers who could wind up making the team. The Detroit News’ Chris McCosky tweets that Michael Fulmer, Blaine Hardy, Bobby Parnell and Drew VerHagen are also scheduled to pitch for the team.

Next: Zimmermann Better Be Worth It

First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 pm eastern time.

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