The road to the American League playoffs continues Monday night in Detroit where the Tigers begin a critical 4-game series against the New York Yankees.
ESPN will broadcast the series opener with the first pitch from Comerica Park scheduled for a little past 7:00 p.m. (ET). The starting pitching matchup is a marquee clash as the Yankees send Ivan Nova to the mound opposite Tigers ace Justin Verlander.
The Don Best Pro Odds shows Detroit as -175 chalk for Monday's contest, and the 8-run total slightly favors the 'over.'
Detroit continues to chase the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central, and the final 10-11 starts by Verlander this season will be crucial to the Tigers' chances of either winning the division or at least climbing into one of the two wild card slots. The Tigers are 13-9 behind their ace this season after dropping each of his last two assignments.
The most recent loss was in Boston this past Tuesday when rain cut his outing to just five innings, halting a string of 63 regular season starts in which Verlander worked at least six frames. The Tigers are 6-3 at home with Verlander on the mound, one of the losses coming in early June to the Yankees who scored five runs (3 earned) in his 6-1/3 innings.
Nova just experienced his worst start of the season when the Orioles scored nine times in his five innings of work this past Tuesday on their way to an 11-5 victory. The defeat was the third in Nova's four assignments since the all-star break. New York won just two of his six July starts while Nova's ERA jumped exactly half a run to 4.53.
Nova and Verlander met at Yankee Stadium in late April with the Tigers closing as $1.20 favorites. Neither pitcher was around for the decision which ultimately went to New York, 7-6. Verlander pitched six innings and allowed five runs (4 earned) while Nova last 5-1/3 innings and was charged with all six Detroit runs.
Detroit lost utility player Ryan Raburn to the disabled list this past week due to a sprained right thumb. New York isn't reporting any new injuries leading into this series.
The Yankees and Tigers have met six times previously this season, three in each park, with New York taking two of three games in each series. Two of the three games played in Detroit in early June stayed 'under' the total.