MLB Preview 2012: Texas Rangers vs. Detroit Tigers

The Texas Rangers (11-2) and Detroit Tigers (9-4) will continue a four-game American League series on Friday night inside Comerica Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 ET

Texas Rangers at Detroit Tigers  

The Detroit Tigers are 6-0 against left-handed starters this year

Texas opened up this series with a resounding 10-3 win on Thursday night, with the club hitting .353 and averaging eight runs a game in winning the first six games of its current road trip.  “We’re feeling good and we’re doing a lot of good things,” stated Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus.  Overall, the team paces the majors with 79 runs scored, while also hammering 23 home runs and hitting .306 on the season.  Texas is 7-2 versus right-handed starters and the “under” is 7-1 in those contests.

Rangers starting pitcher Matt Harrison (2-0, 0.64 ERA) has been spectacular in his first two outings of the year, allowing just 11 hits and a single run in 14 combined innings.  The left-hander picked up a 4-1 road victory over the Minnesota Twins last time out, surrendering one run and scattering even hits over eight frames.  In seven career appearances (five starts) versus the Tigers, Harrison has posted a losing 1-4 record and 6.89 ERA, which includes a 1-3 mark and 5.66 ERA in four outings (three starts) at this particular ballpark.

Detroit was unable to exact revenge in its first opportunity to exact revenge for last year’s loss in the ALCS, but the clubhouse isn’t panicky by any means.  “We’ve got a good team,” commented Tigers manager Jim Leyland.  “We just got beat.”  The Tigers have still managed to compile a dominating 158-92 record inside Comerica Park since the beginning of the 2009 season.  The starting pitching faltered in the series opener, but still came into this series with a 2.75 ERA in that category.  Detroit is 6-0 against left-handed starters and the “under” is 6-0 in those games.

Tigers starting pitcher Rick Porcello (1-0, 1.84) has led the club to a pair of 5-2 wins in the early going, including a victory over the Chicago White Sox in his last effort.  He allowed just a single run and five hits over 7.2 innings of work.  The right-hander has tallied an even 1-1 record and 6.30 ERA in two career starts versus the Rangers.  Porcello will look to improve upon his 20-13 record in 45 career starts at home.

Bettors will likely back the Tigers due to their 15-5 record in Porcello’s last 20 starts, while the Rangers are 1-5 in Harrison’s last six starts in this series.

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