Tigers Top AL

The Detroit Tigers have been doing just about everything right lately. Their play at home, though, is one area that could use improvement.

The AL Central-leading Tigers look to avoid their fourth straight home loss Tuesday night when they continue a four-game series against the Texas Rangers.

Oddsmakers have made Detroit -215 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 10.5 total runs (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 86% of bets for this game have been placed on Detroit -215 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

Marlon Byrd drove in three runs, and the Rangers ended Jeremy Bonderman's 17-start unbeaten streak with an 8-3 victory in Monday's series opener.

The loss also snapped the Tigers' (45-30) seven-game winning streak, one shy of their season high. Detroit has lost three straight and seven of 10 at home, where it is 18-15 - the worst home record of any division leader.

Both teams arrived in Detroit in the early hours of Monday morning, and the Rangers skipped batting practice to get some extra rest.

"That didn't have anything to do with the game,'' Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We got here at 2:30 and they got here at 6. We just got beat.''

Texas (31-45) has been a much improved team lately, winning eight of its past 11 games. Monday's victory, however, was the first of those wins that came against a team with a winning record.

The Rangers, winners of five of six at Comerica Park, moved ahead of Kansas City and no longer have the worst record in the AL.

With Mark Teixeira and Hank Blalock on the disabled list, Michael Young has done an excellent job picking up the offensive slack lately.

Young had three hits Monday, raising his average to a season-high .295. He is hitting .387 (36-for-93) with 20 RBIs in 22 games this month.

A pair of Tigers extended their respective hitting streaks to 12 games Monday.

Carlos Guillen is batting .450 (18-for-40) with five homers and 17 RBIs during his run, while Magglio Ordonez is hitting .467 (21-for-45) in his streak. Ordonez leads the majors with a .379 batting average.

Nate Robertson (4-6, 5.07 ERA) is scheduled to come off the disabled list and make his first start since June 5 for Detroit. He went on the DL two days later with a tired arm and said he felt fine Saturday after throwing a side session.

Robertson's last appearance was one he'd rather forget as he failed to record an out at Texas while allowing six runs, four hits and two walks on 30 pitches.

He is 3-4 with a 3.86 ERA in nine career starts against the Rangers.

Willie Eyre (2-3, 3.00) will come out of the bullpen to make his first career start for the Rangers. Eyre is taking the place of Vicente Padilla, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday with triceps inflammation behind his right elbow.

The Rangers also considered using John Koronka for the start, but prefer a right-hander for a Tigers lineup that is heavy on right-handed hitters.

"We certainly don't want to bring a left-hander up here to face the Tigers unless it's necessary," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Especially a pitcher who has been at Triple-A and then has to get these Tigers out."

Eyre, who has started 66 games in the minors, has made 19 relief appearances this season. His longest outing was four shutout innings against Oakland on May 28.

Eyre has thrown four scoreless innings in two appearances against the Tigers.

by: Dave Michaels - thespread.com – Email Us

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