Detroit fell 5-4 in the second game of a three-game set in Boston, as the team is now 11-9 versus the AL East division this season. The Tigers were unable to hold a 4-0 lead that was created with the help of first baseman Miguel Cabrera’s 26th home run of the year. The bullpen came into Saturday’s contest with a 20-11 record and 3.57 ERA through the club’s first 102 games. With yesterday’s loss, the team is now 24-19 in day games (+330) with the total being 17-23 O/U in those contests. Detroit is 10-7 when playing on Sunday during the current campaign (+290) and 39-30 over the last three seasons (+470). In those games, the offense has produced 4.5 runs per game and hit for a combined .270 mark, which is just a point lower than the team’s season average (.271).
Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander is 12-6 with a 3.74 ERA in 21 starts this season, with the club alternating wins and losses over his last four outings. He suffered a 3-2 road defeat to the Rays in his last start, working eight strong innings and giving up three runs on five hits while striking out six. The All-Star right-hander is 5-4 with a 4.80 ERA in 11 road starts, giving up five home runs in 69.1 frames. Verlander is a strong 5-1 with a 3.97 ERA in nine daytime outings in 2010, which is similar to his 30-12 mark and 3.40 ERA in 54 career starts under the sun. In four lifetime outings versus the Red Sox, he stands and even 2-2 with a 3.90 ERA.
Boston is looking to pick up its fifth win in six games and finish off a series victory over the Tigers at Fenway Park. Designated-hitter David Ortiz is doing his part over a nine-game hitting streak, hitting .308 with four home runs and 12 RBIs. Despite the one-run victory on Saturday afternoon, the Red Sox suffered their second losing month of the season, finishing July with a 12-13 record. Turning the page to August may be a good thing, as the club is 34-21 during the month the last three years (+1,120), while the total is 28-25 O/U over that span. Boston hopes to even its record against the AL Central with the series finale, as the team currently stands at 10-11 against the division.
Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz is a solid 11-5 with a 2.71 ERA in 17 starts this season and picked up a win in his last appearance. He led the team to a 6-3 road win over the Angels last time out, giving up a single run and five hits over seven innings. The right-hander will be making his first home start since June 20, going 5-3 with a 3.08 ERA in eight starts at Fenway Park on the season. He has made just four daytime starts, going 1-2 with a 7.20 ERA compared to a fantastic 10-3 record and 1.94 ERA in 13 nighttime outings. In three career starts against the Tigers, Buchholz is an even 1-1 with a 3.63 ERA, including picking up a 7-2 road victory at Comerica Park on May 14. He lasted 6.1 innings in that contest and gave up a single run on three hits.
Bettors must not ignore the Tigers being 18-4 in Verlander’s last 22 Sunday starts, which follows suit with his career numbers during the day. Detroit is also a dominating 22-7 against the AL East with him on the hill. Boston can’t be tossed aside with a 9-1 mark in its last 10 games as a home favorite of -110 to -150 and being 4-0 in this situation with today’s starter on the mound.