Thursday MLB Preview – White Sox at Tigers

Both of today’s starters have thrived in their respective situations this year, as division rivals finish a four-game series at Comerica Park.

Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers

Chicago picked up a 4-1 victory in yesterday’s contest over the Tigers, as the team has won eight of its last 10 games.  The White Sox currently hold a 1.5-game lead over the Twins in the division and are eight games ahead of the Tigers.  The club holds a 5-2 season series advantage over today’s opponent, outscoring them by a 43-21 margin.  Offensively, the team is batting .300 and the pitching staff has recorded a 3.05 ERA against the Tigers this season.  The White Sox are 9-1-1 in the last 11 season series versus their division rivals.  Even more impressive, the South Siders are 31-19 in their last 50 games at Comerica Park.  Chicago is 22-12 in day games this season, which is the fourth-best record in the league and the total is 18-16 O/U in those contests.  The team is 18-21 against the AL Central division in 2010 (-7000 and 96-88 over the last three years (-80).

White Sox starting pitcher Freddy Garcia is 10-4 with a 4.73 ERA in 19 starts this season and picked up a victory in his last outing.  He allowed three runs and seven hits over six innings of work in a 9-5 home win over the Mariners in that outing.  He is 5-2 with a 5.73 ERA in 10 road starts this season and has gone 70-36 with a 4.17 ERA in 143 career road outings, including a 31-13 mark with his current club.  He is 8-3 with a 3.78 ERA in 13 career starts at Comerica Park since 2000, owning an 8-1 mark and 3.06 ERA in his last 10 starts.  Garcia will be making his 29th career appearance against the Tigers, going 18-6 with a 3.74 ERA and 156 strikeouts lifetime.

Detroit fell in the third game of this four-game series on Wednesday, but has still picked up 21 victories in its last 30 home games.  On the season, the Tigers are 36-19 at Comerica Park (+1,550) and is second among all American League clubs with a .655 winning percentage.  Offensively, the team is led at home by All-Star first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who is fourth among league players with a .344 batting average at home this season.  The club is 24-21 in day games this season (+30) and the total is 18-24 O/U in those contests.  Over the club’s last 12 games, the Tigers have compiled a .993 fielding percentage, which ranks third among all AL clubs during that stretch.  Detroit is 17-22 against divisional opponents in 2010 (-950) and 83-101 the last three seasons (-3,940).

Tigers starting pitcher Max Scherzer is 7-8 with a 4.28 ERA in 20 starts this season, but the club has dropped his last two outings.  In those appearances, he has allowed five runs (four earned) and 11 hits over 12 innings of work.  He is a solid 6-2 with a 3.31 ERA in nine home starts this season, tallying 56 strikeouts and issuing 19 walks in 54.1 frames.  Scherzer has won each of his last six starts at home dating back to May 30, compiling a 1.33 ERA and 49 strikeouts during that stretch.  He will be making his ninth start of the season during the day, posting an even 3-3 mark and 2.63 ERA.

Bettors must respect the White Sox being 38-18 in Garcia’s last 56 road starts and the club’s 7-0 run on Thursdays.  Detroit has also enjoyed success on Thursday, posting a 9-2 record in their last 11 chances, but are 0-5 in Scherzer’s last five starts against the AL Central.

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