Sunday MLB Preview – Tigers at White Sox

The series is up for grabs between AL Central rivals in the final game of a three-game set at U.S. Cellular Field.

Detroit Tigers at Chicago White Sox

Detroit picked up a 3-2 comeback victory on Saturday night over the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field and giving the team a chance to end a streak of 10 straight road series losses.  The win in the second game of the series was also just the club’s second win in 15 road games.  “I’ve been around this game long enough to know we’ve got to start putting something together,” Brandon Inge said.  The offense is led by 1B Miguel Cabrera in games away from Comerica Park, as he is leading the American League with a .345 road batting average.  The Tigers are now 19-26 against division opponents this season and the total stands at an even 21-21 O/U in those contests.  The club is a dismal 6-16 on the road when the total is 9 to 9.5 in 2010 and 36-58 in this situation over the last three years (-2,100).

Tigers starting pitcher Armando Galarraga is 3-5 with a 4.48 ERA in 15 appearances (14 starts) this season and comes in on a two-game losing streak.  Over those two outings, he has allowed eight runs and 13 hits over 12.2 innings.  The right-hander is 1-2 with a 6.66 ERA in five road starts, issuing 10 walks and striking out just 11 in 24.1 frames.  He will be making just his fifth daytime start in 2010, producing a 1-1 mark and 3.96 ERA, surrendering five home runs in 25 innings.  In seven lifetime appearances (five starts), Galarraga has gone 1-3 with a 4.76 ERA, including a 4-1 home loss two starts back.  In that game, he allowed four runs and five hits over five innings.

Chicago may bring the majors leagues-best 41-19 record since June 9, but the team has dropped six of nine games and has fallen two games back in the division.  Last night’s loss was directly caused by closer Bobby Jenks being out with back spasms, as reliever J.J. Putz was unable to close the door.  “I don’t think he’ll be ready by Tuesday,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said of Jenks.  The club is 2-3 on its current six-game homestand and 22-24 against divisional opponents (-680).  The White Sox rank second in the major leagues with 85 home runs at home, trailing only the Toronto Blue Jays.  Chicago has won 15 of its last 19 games at U.S. Cellular Field and has posted a 22-5 mark over the last 26, outscoring opponents by a 162-79 margin over that span.  The team is 13-5 as a home favorite of -125 to -150 this year (+600).

White Sox starting pitcher Freddy Garcia is 10-5 with a 4.90 ERA in 21 starts this season, but is coming off a disappointing outing.  Last time out, he allowed six runs and eight hits while giving up three home runs in just 2.1 innings against the division-leading Twins.  The right-hander is 5-3 with a 4.53 ERA in 10 home starts this year, giving up 11 long balls in 57.2 innings of work.  He will be making his ninth daytime start, posting a 2-3 record and 5.19 ERA, issuing 20 walks and striking out 25 in 43.1 frames.  Garcia has gone 3-0 with a 2.36 ERA in his last four starts versus Detroit and posted a 9-1 mark and 3.52 ERA in his last 12 against them.

Bettors will find little motivation in playing the Tigers as a road underdog of +125 to +150, as the tam is 4-10 in that role this season (-440) and 11-34 the last three years (-1,900).  Chicago is a dominating 19-8 at home when the total is 9 to 9.5 and 76-46 in this spot over a three-year span (+1,500).

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