Detroit will look avoid its first 10-game losing streak away from home since it ended the 2005 campaign in that fashion. The club has dropped 12 of its last 15 games overall. One good thing going for the Tigers is the fact that the Rays have never swept them in a four-game series at Tropicana Field. Detroit is currently in a stretch of playing 11-straight games against AL East opponents, producing a 10-7 record versus the division so far this season. The Tigers have also managed to still win eight of their last 14 games in Tampa Bay despite dropping the first three games of this series. In 27 games against southpaw starters this year, the team is a solid 17-10 (+730) and the total is 15-12 O/U in those contests.
Tigers starting pitcher Rick Porcello is 4-8 with a 5.55 ERA in 15 starts this season, with the team dropping his last four outings. Over that span, he has allowed 17 runs (16 earned) and 27 hits over 22.2 innings of work. The right-hander is 1-4 with a highly-inflated 7.55 ERA in six road games, allowing opponents to hit for a .348 combined average. Detroit’s offense has managed to provide just three runs of support in his last two appearances. Porcello has made eight daytime starts in 2010, posting an even 3-3 record and 4.53 ERA. He picked up a victory in his only career start against the Rays at home on August 28, 2009, tossing 5.2 innings and allowing just a single run on four hits.
Tampa Bay won its third straight game over the Tigers 7-4 on Wednesday night and are primed to complete the sweep this afternoon. The Rays have won five straight overall and remain two games behind the American East-leading Yankees. Third baseman Evan Longoria entered the contest in an 0-for-19 slump, but broke out in a big way by going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs. “I had a good day at the plate today,” he said after the game. “But in all, we’re playing well as a team and it doesn’t matter if I get three hits or no hits.” The club is 33-18 on the road this season, but its home record has been pretty even the entire year until this recent stretch of winning nine of their last 10 at Tropicana Field. Tampa is 17-6 this month (+880) and the total is 12-10 O/U in those contests. The Rays are also 19-8 against AL Central competition, their best record versus any division in the Junior Circuit.
Rays starting pitcher David Price is 13-5 with a 2.90 ERA in 19 starts this season, with the club alternating wins and losses over his last seven outings. He tallied a 6-3 road victory over the Indians last time out, giving up three runs and three hits and issuing four walks over seven innings of work. The left-hander is 6-1 with a 2.04 ERA in eight home starts, with opponents combining to hit for a .200 average. He is 6-2 with a 3.44 ERA in eight daytime starts compared to 7-3 and 2.52 ERA at night. Price will be making his fourth overall appearance and second start against the Tigers, posting a 1-0 mark and 0.90 ERA, as he’s yet to allow a home run in 10 frames.
Bettors will find both teams producing a solid record when playing on Thursdays, with the Tigers checking in at 9-1 (+840) and the Rays at 8-3 (+440). It should be noted that this is the first dome series for Detroit this season and they are 8-20 indoors the last three years (-950). Tampa Bay is 3-1 as a home favorite of -225 to -250 in 2010 (+70) and 7-1 in this spot over the last three campaigns (+470).