Detroit Tigers: Wednesday night has more intrigue than expected

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ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 18: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers reacts in the dugout in the third inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on August 18, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 18: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers reacts in the dugout in the third inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on August 18, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images) /
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This season, it’s a rare occurrence that games involving the Detroit Tigers have interesting storylines surrounding them, but Wednesday night in Houston is one of those nights.

A Wednesday night game in late August in the middle of a four-game series between the Houston Astros and Detroit Tigers may not seem like the type of game that would carry intriguing storylines. With Houston currently leading the AL West and the Tigers currently leading the race for the 2020 number one overall pick, Wednesday night’s contest in Houston actually presents a couple of intriguing reasons as to why fans should tune in.

Miguel Cabrera vs. Justin Verlander

It’s been almost two years to the day since the Detroit Tigers traded superstar pitcher Justin Verlander to the Houston Astros on September 1st, 2017. Now, barring any unforeseen last-minute circumstances that would keep Miguel Cabrera out of the lineup, Wednesday night marks the first time Cabrera and Verlander will face each other since the trade.

As Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press points out, Cabrera’s various injuries kept him sidelined in each of the three previous times the Detroit Tigers faced Verlander and the Astros. Now, Verlander is scheduled to be Houston’s starter Wednesday night and Cabrera is most likely going to be in Detroit’s lineup.

Verlander and Cabrera were the centerpieces of the dominant Detroit Tigers teams during the early part of the decade. Verlander won the AL Cy Young and MVP awards in 2011 followed by Cabrera claiming AL MVP the next two years in 2012 and 2013. The two were also All-Star teammates four years in a row from 2010-2013.

When Cabrera takes the plate and stares down Verlander on the mound Wednesday night, it is sure to be a moment no Tigers fan will forget. Regardless of where they both stand in their careers now, Verlander still dominant but for a different club and Cabrera still with Detroit yet far past his prime, these two players helped create some of the best baseball moments in Motown in recent memory.

Astros Are Historic Betting Favorites

Personally, I’m not much of a gambling man, but it is interesting to see that Wednesday night’s game between the Tigers and Astros is already making history even before the first pitch, as several sportsbooks have Houston favored with historic odds. Per ESPN’s Ben Fawkes on Twitter, Verlander and the Astros are set to be the largest betting favorites in an MLB game in over a decade.

The Astros are pushing to solidify their dominance in the AL West on the road to the postseason, while the Detroit Tigers are really playing with nothing to lose. Could a storyline like this further fuel this young Tigers team to prove the doubters wrong? Who knows, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that headline is hanging on a bulletin board somewhere in Detroit’s visitors’ clubhouse at Minute Maid Park tonight.

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With the way this Tigers season is going, it is refreshing to have a game that brings a certain amount of intrigue to it. Seeing Cabrera stare down Verlander at the plate should be an interesting moment and the fact that Detroit could thrive as historic underdogs would be fun to see. First pitch is set for 8:10 pm EST from Minute Maid Park in Houston.

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