The Tigers (18-11) have won the first 3 games of the series against the Houston Astros (8-23) and are looking to sweep the hosts who hold not surprisingly the worst record in the majors. Miguel Cabrera on Saturday hit 2 long balls and drove in 6 giving Detroit their 9th victory out of their last 11 with a 17-2 humbling. Victor Martinez produced 4 RBI and Torii Hunter added 4 hits. Last year's triple crown winner leads the majors in hitting with a .390 mark along with 36 RBI.
Philip Humber (0-6 7.58) will no doubt have his work cut out for him this afternoon. The Tigers are second in the majors with a .283 BA with Prince Fielder (.290 7 28) and Cabrera (.390 6 36) leading the way. In fact 7 tigers are hitting above .290 so far this season and if you combine their success at the plate with their starting pitching, it's no secret paying dividends for their 18-11 start atop the AL Central. Humber despite his misfortunes will stay in the starting rotation despite the first pitcher to reach 6 losses more notably without a win. His last time out he surrendered four runs on nine hits and two walks over six innings and took the against the Yankees.
The Astros had to wonder not if but when there were more tougher times coming since their transition to the American League. Hitting a NL like .250 overall, Chris Carter and Rick Ankiel have produced what little fireworks Houston has shown despite hitting more HRs than Detroit. Jose Altuve (.331) leads the 'Stros in hitting but not much else is happening especially since Carlos Pena and Marvin Gonzalez have significantly underachieved. Carter and Ankiel each are barely hitting above .200.
Detroit counters with Justin Verlander (3-2 1.83) who clearly has pitched better than his overall record victimized by an unfortunate lack of run support combined with shotty middle relief. He has lost some velocity on his fastball and has been dealing with a blister on his thumb but was his vintage self last time out against Minnesota. He struck out 8 and gave up just a run on 5 hits over 7 IP.
We get a little higher price this afternoon, but you have to feel if the Tigers can duplicate yesterday's offensive clinic against an ineffective Humber, Verlander may have a tendency to get a little too comfortable. That may allow Houston to carve out a few hits and runs in an otherwise one sided battle. We've been on a nice little 3 game winning streak as of late and hope it can continue ending out a positive week. Best of luck however you play!