A pair of aces face off in a game involving two teams that have struggled mightily since the All-Star break.
Los Angeles Angels at Detroit Tigers
Los Angeles was swept in a three-game series by the worst team in the league, as they leave Baltimore and head to Detroit. In the series, the starting staff posted an 8.80 ERA, which led manager Mike Scioscia to hold a closed door meeting after Thursday’s 5-4 loss. This is obviously a disappointing series and a disappointing game tonight,” he said after the meeting. The Angels are now 7-12 since the All-Star break and have lost seven of their last eight road games. The club is 1-4 this month (-440) and 33-29 in August the last three seasons combined (-880). Los Angeles faces off against Detroit for the first time since May 2, trailing 5-2 in the season series, as the club is 11-16 against the AL Central division this season. The Halos are 49-26 overall versus the Tigers since the start of the 2002 season. Outfielder Bobby Abreu will lead the offense this weekend, owning a career average of .350 (50-for-143) against Detroit.
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.”
AL Central divisional rivals get set to play the first game of a day/night doubleheader.
Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians
Detroit had won six of eight games against Cleveland before suffering a series-opening 8-2 loss on Friday night at Progressive Field. Since the start of the 2009 sesaon, the Tigers have compiled a 20-7 record against the Tribe. Manager Jim Leyland went to great lengths to try to make sure his club was ready to play after a four-day All-Star break, as he scheduled an earlier 2 p.m. workout yesterday afternoon. “It was very disappointing,” Leyland said. “We looked really sluggish in every phase of the game.” The Tigers have lost seven of their last 10 road games and are 16-26 away from Comerica Park on the season (-940). Detroit has a great chance in bouncing back in the first game of a day-night doubleheader, posting a 23-14 record in day games (+710).
Two of the best interleague teams in all of baseball get set to square off in Game 2 of this series in front of a national audience.
Detroit Tigers at New York Mets
Detroit suffered a 14-6 blowout loss against the New York Mets in its first game of nine-game road trip, after finishing a nine-game home stand with an 8-1 record. “We made about as many bad pitches in one game as you could make,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. The Tigers have dropped nine of their last 12 road games, as the pitching staff has produced a terrible 6.36 ERA over that span. One member of the until that hasn’t been part of those troubles is closer Jose Valverde. The Tigers will be in a solid position if he enters the game tonight, as he’s converted each of his last 16 save opportunities and tops all AL relievers with a 0.59 ERA.
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