Anibal Sanchez (3-4, 5.91 ERA) and Matt Andriese (2-0, 0.56 ERA) are on the hill in the first of a three-game series between the Detroit Tigers (19-21) and the Tampa Bay Rays (19-19) at Comerica Park. Action begins at 7:10 p.m. ET on Friday, May. 20 and can be seen on FSDT and SUN.
Sanchez pitched 6.0 innings in his most recent start, surrendering four runs, striking out four and walking two in a 9-3 defeat to the Orioles. Nick Castellanos (.350, 19 Rs, 8 HRs, 30 RBIs, 1 SB) had another good game Wednesday, going 2 for 4 with one run. Andriese went 9.0 innings, surrendering zero runs and striking out five in a 6-0 win over the Athletics in his last outing. Steve Pearce (.301, 14 Rs, 6 HRs, 17 RBIs) has been successful at the plate for the Rays, going 2 for 3 Wednesday with one run and one RBI.
Oddsmakers believe that the two teams are very even given this pitching matchup. Some books have Tampa Bay slightly favored, while others tilt towards the Tigers side. The total is 8.5 runs for this series opener.
Detroit has won 41% (7-10) of its games when leading after seven innings. However, Tampa Bay has won 54% (7-6) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Rays managed to give up four walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Tigers who are heading in with a 9-7 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they outhit their opponents, the Tigers are 15-5. The Rays have a 14-4 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 22nd in runs, Tampa Bay has earned 159 this season. Detroit ranks ninth with 179 runs.
Ranking 14th, Tampa Bay is in the top half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.737). Detroit ranks in the top 10 at ninth with an OPS of .749.
When the Rays allow at least one home run, they are 7-18. When the Tigers allow one or more homers, they have an 11-16 record.