Aug 14, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Michael Fulmer (32) reacts to winning a complete game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Detroit Tigers won 7-0. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

DETROIT TIGERS (6-3) vs. CLEVELAND INDIANS (4-4)

Game 1 – Daniel Norris (0-0, 4.26 ERA, 2K) vs. Trevor Bauer (0-1, 6.35 ERA, 7K)

Friday, April 14 @ 7:10 p.m. ET

 

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers
Apr 9, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Daniel Norris (44) pitches in the second inning against the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Left-hander Daniel Norris gets the start in the opener in this all-important series. With moderate success against the Tribe last season, Norris will need to continue trending up against Cleveland.

 

Trevor Bauer is who we thought he was. Not Cleveland’s best, but, he can be effective. He’ll need his best stuff to get past a potent Tigers lineup that has victimized him in the past.

Game 2 – Justin Verlander (1-0, 1.35 ERA, 14K) vs. Corey Kluber (0-1, 5.25 ERA, 10K)

Saturday, April 15 @ 4:10 p.m. ET

Oct 2, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) throws a pitch against the Atlanta Braves in the fifth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Verlander is off to a roaring start in 2017. After dominance in Game 1, JV was up to the task last week battling Chris Sale head to head.

The Cleveland Indians were able to have their way with the Detroit Tigers last year. Corey Kluber was a big part of that. Kluber had some of his best pitching outings against Detroit last season. The Tigers need to bring their best offensive game in this late-afternoon matchup on Saturday.

 

Game 3 – Matt Boyd (1-0, 5.40 ERA, 8K) vs. Carlos Carrasco (1-0, 2.13 ERA, 14K)

Sunday, April 16 @ 1:10 p.m. ET

 

MLB: Spring Training-Detroit Tigers at New York Mets
Feb 26, 2017; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Matt Boyd (48) throws against the New York Mets during a spring training game at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Boyd returned to his Spring Training form last Tuesday against the Twins, carrying a no-hit bid into the 6th inning. This was the Boyd we all expected coming into the season, and he will be looking to keep the momentum going.

 

Carlos Carrasco has pitched two very good games for the Indians. On the season Carrasco went 5.2 IP against the Rangers, then followed that up with a seven inning, one-run gem on Tuesday against the White Sox.

PREDICTION

Detroit is 6-3 and tied for 1st place in the AL Central with the Minnesota Twins. By the end of this road series with Cleveland, Detroit will have played 11 games in 11 days. Fatigue may finally play a factor with these games.

I predict that the Tigers will only win one game in this series. Most likely, that will come with Justin Verlander on the bump. After finishing in Cleveland on Sunday, the Tigers will take a much needed day off to travel to Florida for a series with the Tampa Bay Rays.