The St. Louis Cardinals (34-33) and Detroit Tigers (32-34) will open up a three-game interleague series on Tuesday night at Comerica Park in the Motor City, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 ET
St. Louis Cardinals at Detroit Tigers
St. Louis is 4-5 in interleague play during the 2012 MLB season, dropping two of three to the Kansas City Royals over the weekend to end a nine-game homestand. The Cardinals have missed many opportunities over the past 10 games, leading directly to a mediocre 5-5 record in that span. “You can’t have bad decisions,” commented Cardinals manager Mike Matheny about the team’s recent struggles. The club will now head off on the road and play an opponent that has won six of the last nine meetings. St. Louis is 9-18 as a road underdog of +125 to +150 the last two-plus seasons.
Cardinals starting pitcher Lance Lynn (10-2, 2.42 ERA) has won four of his last five starts, including a 1-0 home win over the Chicago White Sox on June 13, allowing just three hits over 7.1 shutout innings. The right-hander is 6-1 with a 2.32 ERA in eight road starts, issuing 17 walks and collecting 53 strikeouts in 50.1 combined frames. Lynn will be facing the Tigers for the first time in his career.
Detroit has won three consecutive series and has a great chance of winning the series opener on Tuesday night with its ace on the hill. The Tigers have won six of their last eight games overall, including a 5-0 home win over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday afternoon. Leadoff man Austin Jackson has provided a major lift to the offense since returning from the disabled list, batting .333 and knocking in 10 runs over the last seven games. Detroit is 11-20 following a win this season.
Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (6-4, 2.66 ERA) earned a 5-3 road win over the Chicago Cubs last time out, giving up two earned runs and five hits over eight frames, as he’s set to make his first start at Comerica Park since June 3. The right-hander has compiled an even 2-2 record and 1.77 ERA in six home outings this season, with opponents hitting just .166 against him. In three career starts versus the Cardinals, Verlander is 2-1 with a 5.50 ERA, and will need to pitch carefully to their starting catcher. Yadier Molina has five hits in eight career at-bats against Verlander.
Bettors will likely back the Tigers due to their 9-2 mark in Verlander’s last 11 efforts as a favorite of -110 to -150, while the Cardinals are 1-5 in their last six interleague games as an underdog.