Monday MLB Preview – Rangers at Tigers

The Tigers look to bounce back from a humiliating four-game sweep to the Indians, as they welcome in the AL West-leading Rangers.

Texas Rangers at Detroit Tigers

Texas had lost 11 of its last 14 games before this important series against the Boston Red Sox, including four straight to the Baltimore Orioles.  The Rangers ended up taking three of four at Fenway Park with Sunday’s 4-2 victory.  “We played well and we pitched well,” third baseman Michael Young said.  The last few games, we’ve pitched especially well.”  It doesn’t get any easier to start the week for the Rangers, heading to a place where they’ve lost 11 straight games.  “It’s good to come back and take three of four here because we know our recent history in Detroit isn’t that good.”

Rangers starting pitcher Scott Feldman is 5-8 with a 5.32 ERA in 18 starts this season, but his team has dropped three straight games with him on the mound.  Over that span, he has allowed 12 runs (11 earned) and 25 hits over 18.2 innings of work.  The right-hander is 3-5 with a 5.94 ERA in eight road starts, as opponents are hitting for a combined .306 average.  Feldman has managed to strike out just three batters in 13 innings of work this month, going 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA in two July starts.  In eight career outings (three starts) against the Tigers, he is a winless 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA.  He was handed a loss on April 24 versus Detroit in Arlington, giving up eight runs (four earned) and eight hits in 3.2 innings.

Detroit has lost five straight games, including getting swept by the Cleveland Indians in a four-game series to start the second half of the season.  “We weren’t ready to play and that’s my responsibility,” said manager Jim Leyland.  The club remains just 1.5 games behind division-leading Chicago White Sox despite the recent slump.  The Tigers managed to score a total of eight runs in losing four straight at Progressive Stadium, dropping the team to a 16-29 mark on the road.  Offensive leaders Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez combined to go 5-for-29 in the series.  The team has a great chance of turning things around, going 54-24 in their last 78 games as a home favorite.

Tigers starting pitcher Jeremy Bonderman is 5-6 with a 4.79 ERA in 17 games (16 starts), alternating wins and losses over his last five outings.  The right-hander tallied a 7-4 home victory over the Minnesota Twins last time out, surrendering three runs on four hits in six frames.  He is 2-3 with a 6.11 ERA in eight road starts, which is a drastic contrast from his 3.63 ERA at Comerica Park.  Bonderman will be making his third start of the month, posting an even 1-1 mark and 8.18 ERA in July.  He is 2-1 with a 4.93 ERA in seven career starts against the Rangers, including a 1-0 mark and 4.91 ERA in Rangers Ballpark.

Bettors may jump on playing the Rangers as a road underdog due to its series win in Boston, but it’s important to note the team is 8-20 in their last 28 road games versus a team with a winning record.  Detroit looks to improve to 7-1 in Bonderman’s last seven starts as a home favorite.

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