Five Game Skid
The Detroit Tigers have to be happy that their best starting pitcher this season will be on the mound when they try to end their five-game losing streak on Wednesday.
They're also probably surprised that the pitcher is Armando Galarraga.
Galarraga will hope to cool off the streaking Boston Red Sox, who will seek their sixth straight win in the third game of a four-game set at Comerica Park.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Boston -117 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 9.5 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 72% of bets for this game have been placed on Boston -117 (View MLB Bet Percentages). Bet this game.
Detroit's high-priced, struggling hitters have received plenty of attention this season, and their slump continued Tuesday, as they managed just three hits in a 5-0 loss to the Red Sox.
But the Tigers (14-20) also have a 4.98 team ERA - second-worst in the AL - as their starting pitchers have failed to live up to expectations.
Galarraga (2-1, 1.88 ERA), a rookie who is filling the injured Dontrelle Willis' spot in the rotation, is the only Tigers starter with an ERA under 4.00. He can also become Detroit's first three-game winner with a victory Wednesday, even though he'll still have made two fewer starts than four of his teammates.
The right-hander took his first career loss in his last start, allowing four runs - two earned - in six innings at Minnesota Friday, in the first loss of the Tigers' current skid. But he's still allowed just five earned runs and 13 hits in 24 innings.
He'll hope to get more support than he did in his last start, when the Tigers lost 11-1. Detroit has scored just 11 total runs in its last five games, and was shut out for the fifth time this season Tuesday.
Magglio Ordonez has just one hit in his last 16 at-bats, Miguel Cabrera has only two hits in his last 19 at-bats and Gary Sheffield's batting average has slumped to .176 despite a move from DH to left field.
"We're not doing well right now," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "But it's very important that we remember what we have and how good they are and I think they have to remember that."
The Red Sox (22-13) have been especially good lately, totaling at least 11 hits in each of their last five games. A sixth consecutive victory Wednesday would match the team's longest winning streak of the season.
David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez hit back-to-back home runs in Tuesday's win - Boston's seventh in the last eight games. Ortiz is hitting .440 with three home runs and seven RBIs in his last six games, while Ramirez is three home runs from 500 for his career.
The Red Sox also blanked an opponent for the fourth time this season, as Tim Wakefield's eight-inning, two-hit effort was their latest impressive pitching performance. They have allowed three or fewer runs in nine of their last 10 games, with the lone exception coming in a 12-4 win over Tampa Bay on Saturday.
Clay Buchholz (2-2, 3.71) will try to extend that streak as he faces the Tigers for the first time. The right-hander only lasted 5 1-3 innings Friday against the Rays, but he earned the win, allowing just one run on five hits and four walks.
He's given up just three runs and struck out 21 in 19 1-3 innings in his last three starts, but he's still seeking his first career road win as a starter.
Here are some top trends for tonight's game:
- BOSTON is 4-1 (+3.1 Units) against DETROIT this season
- 3 of 4 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL this season .
Get real live customizable updates, public betting info from 6 online sports books, archived public betting info and much more by clicking here.