DETROIT TIGERS (1-1) vs. BOSTON RED SOX (2-0)
Game 1 – Michael Fulmer vs. Steven Wright
Friday, April 7 @ 1:10 p.m. ET
The Tigers will put Michael Fulmer on the mound for the first home game of 2017. Fulmer is looking to build on a stellar 2016 campaign. Last season, he was one of the stars of the starting pitching rotation. Fulmer finished his rookie season with a record of 11-7 and a 3.06 ERA. He also was named the AL Rookie of the Year.
The Red Sox counter with unpredictable knuckleballer Steven Wright. Wright finished 2016 with a 13-6 record and 3.33 ERA. The Tigers will have to capitalize on scoring opportunities as opposing hitters averaged only .235 against Wright last year.
Game 2 – Jordan Zimmermann vs. Eduardo Rodriguez
Saturday, April 8 @ 1:10 p.m. ET
Jordan Zimmermann was the best starter for the Tigers last season…in the first month. Undefeated in April, Zimmermann cruised to a 5-0 record to start the season with an ERA well under 1.00. Unfortunately, injuries and inconsistencies plagued the rest of his first year in the Motor City.
Game 3 – Daniel Norris vs. Rick Porcello
Sunday, April 9 @ 1:10 p.m. ET
After opening the 2017 season with seasoned veterans on the mound, the Tigers will turn to the youthful part of the rotation. First up will be Daniel Norris. The 23-year-old southpaw has beaten cancer this offseason and is ready for a breakout year.
Porcello is coming off a Cy Young season last year, and is no stranger to Motown. He features a decent arsenal, that primarily focuses on getting the ball on the ground. He won’t overpower any hitters, but he (obviously) has been pretty effective since departing for Boston.
Game 4 – Justin Verlander vs. Chris Sale
Monday, April 10 @ 1:10 p.m. ET
Fresh off an Opening Day victory, the Tigers ace will take the mound for his second start of the season. In his first start of 2017, Verlander pitched 6.1 innings, gave up 6 hits, 2 earned runs, and had 10 strikeouts. With the schedule changed slightly due to weather and postponements, Verlander will have an extra day of rest heading into this contest.
The Boston Red Sox lineup presents more challenges than that of the Chicago White Sox. Detroit pitching will have to be on point and defense will need to be nearly error-free. By the end of this series, Detroit will have played five days in a row as after coming back from Chicago. Fatigue may play a role in later games.
If the weather holds to allow play, I expect the Tigers to split this series with Boston. If the home crowd can become a factor, perhaps Detroit will take three of four games.
[stats from mlb.com]