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
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
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
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.
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.