Detroit returns to Comerica for some home cooking with a 3 game series against the Chicago White Sox. They likely will be fed a diet of cutters and changeups by Mark Buehrle, who faces Justin “Hop-Throw” Verlander. Verlander was 2-0 vs the White Sox in 2010; Buehrle was also 2-0 vs Detroit in 2010. May the best man win (and the best man’s initials are JV).
The Tigers catch the White Sox at a good time: they have only won 2 of their last 10, and like the Tigers, have had all sorts of trouble generating offense, batting only .202 in that 10-game span. And like Detroit, most of their offense has come from one player, Paul Konerko, who is hitting .320 with 4 HR and 15 RBI.
You might want to take the “under” on this one.
One big difference is that the White Sox don’t strike out as much as the Tigers: 111 to 133. And it isn’t because they are more patient at the plate: they only have 53 BB compared to Detroit’s 72, and have the lowest Pitch-Per-Plate-Appearance in the AL at 3.66 (Detroit is 2nd to Boston at 4.00). So the Sox will be up there taking their hacks.
Against Buehrle today discipline at the plate will be necessary. Buehrle features an inside cutter and an outside changeup. Apparently, the key to beating Buehrle is to lay off of the changeup, which lately he has had trouble getting in the strike zone, and then to look for the cutter. There appears to be a direct correlation between the effectiveness of his cutter and the location of his changeup.
Today’s Player of the Pre-Game: Magglio Ordonez
Today’s Jhonny-Phrotecting-Cabrera? lineup: