Justin Verlander (12-7, 3.44 ERA) and the Detroit Tigers (64-59) meet Eduardo Rodriguez (2-5, 5.11 ERA) and the Boston Red Sox (69-53) in the last of a four-game series at Comerica Park. The Red Sox won the last game 3-2, and Boston leads the series 2-1. The game gets underway at 1:10 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 21 and will air on NESN, FSDT and TBS.
In his last start, Verlander pitched 7.0 innings, giving up five runs (two unearned), striking out six and walking one in a 6-1 loss to the Royals. J.D. Martinez (.317, 48 Rs, 18 HRs, 48 RBIs, 1 SB) played well again yesterday, going 2 for 4 with one run, one home run, and one RBI. The Red Sox were victorious over the Orioles 5-3 the last time Rodriguez pitched. He went 4.0 innings, allowing zero runs, striking out seven and walking two. David Ortiz (.319, 60 Rs, 29 HRs, 97 RBIs, 2 SBs) has been doing well offensively for the Red Sox, going 3 for 4 yesterday with one run, one home run, and two RBIs.
Detroit, a -137 favorite, will look to capitalize at home against Boston. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is set at nine runs. The Tigers perform well as a favorite with a 32-16 record and have an overall money line of +1,026. Over the last 10 games, they have performed poorly when playing as the favorite (1-4). Detroit has averaged 2.6 runs per game over the last 10 games, lower than its season average of 4.5.
Switching gears, the Red Sox come into this game with a win percentage of .515 when playing as the underdog (17-16) and an overall money line of -51. They sport the top-ranked offense in the AL, averaging 5.5 runs per game. The top hitting team in the AL are the Red Sox, who average 10.0 hits per game. Opposing pitchers have routinely struggled to strike out the Boston batters, who rank third in the AL with 7.0 strikeouts per game. The last 10 games have really brought the best out of the Boston pitchers. They've allowed 2.7 runs per game during that span, which is lower than their season average of 4.5.
The Tigers have mostly come out on top against the Red Sox in their previous six games this season, earning a 4-2 record. This game will feature Rodriguez (LHP) on the mound against the Tigers, who have a 17-19 record when they take on a left-handed starter. Taking the hill against the Red Sox will be the right-hander Verlander. They sport a 54-39 record against righties.
Predictions: SU Winner - BOS, O/U - Over
The Red Sox won their last game by a one-run margin. In games decided by one run, the Tigers are 20-14. The Red Sox are 15-14 in close games this season.
The Tigers are coming into this game after allowing two walks during their last outing. The Red Sox have a 22-25 record when opponents give up two walks or less.
It looks like the Red Sox have a slight leg up on the Tigers, as the Red Sox have won their last two games while the Tigers have lost their last two.
When they outhit their opponents, the Red Sox are 61-15. The Tigers have a 49-11 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking first in runs, Boston has earned 670 this season. Detroit ranks 14th with 558 runs.
Ranking 19th, Detroit is in the bottom half of the league in walks, notching 355 this season. Boston ranks in the top 10 at eighth with 408.
The Tigers are 51-35 in games where they hit one or more home runs. The Red Sox are 57-36 when they hit at least one homer.