Game 157 Preview: Tigers at Twins

Dave Reginek - Getty Images

Drew Smyly will get a spot start for the Tigers tonight against the Minnesota Twins in place of the injured Max Scherzer.

Detroit Tigers (84-72) at Minnesota Twins (65-91)

Time/Place: 8:00 p.m., Target Field

SB Nation Blog: Twinkie Town

Media: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network

Pitching Matchup: LHP Drew Smyly (4-3, 4.24 ERA) vs. LHP Scott Diamond (12-8, 3.64 ERA)

Diamond's last start -- better known as the 10-4 bullpen dumpster fire we had to endure on Sunday afternoon -- validated (for me, at least) that he has been the ace of the Twins' staff this season. While the numbers bear that out, I was starting to become more and more enamored with Samuel Deduno. Then, last weekend happened and I changed my tune. That being said, last Sunday's outing was the first since August 23rd in which Diamond allowed less than four runs.

Smyly also pitched well in his last start, holding the Twins to an unearned run on three hits in 4 1/3 innings. His only other start against the Twins this season was a 10-6 Tigers win on May 25th in which he gave up four runs in five innings of work. If you can't tell, I'm really grasping at straws for more info on Smyly here.

Don't pitch to Joe Mauer

There are multiple reasons for this sentiment this time around. For one, he is good. Additionally, a red hot Mauer is also a serious danger to Miguel Cabrera's Triple Crown chances. Planting him on first base in every at bat this series isn't the worst idea I've had in these previews this year.

Outlook

The Tigers are 28-11 at home since the All-Star Break and just 12-19 on the road. However, the Tigers are 5-1 at Target Field this season and 12-3 in Minnesota since the start of 2011. Getting through this series without giving a game (or more) away to the White Sox is crucial.

Prediction

Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder both homer this evening.

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