Game 101 Preview: Tigers at White Sox

David Banks

The Tigers will try to complete a four game sweep of the Sox today with Justin Verlander on the mound. Jake Peavy will start for the White Sox.

Detroit Tigers (56-44) at Chicago White Sox (39-59)

Time/Place: 2:10 p.m., U.S. Cellular Field

SB Nation blog: South Side Sox

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

Pitching Matchup: RHP Justin Verlander (10-7, 3.69 ERA) vs. RHP Jake Peavy (7-4, 4.19 ERA)

Pitcher GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 WHIP FIP SIERA fWAR
Verlander 21 131.2 8.75 3.35 0.75 1.37 3.35 3.81 3.0
Peavy 12 73.0 8.51 1.85 1.36 1.16 3.77 3.46 1.4

Peavy made his first start in nearly two months against the Braves on Saturday. He allowed four runs (two earned) in six innings, striking out three with no walks. He showed no ill effects from the rib injury that put him on the disabled list, touching 95 miles per hour with a fastball at one point according to Brooks Baseball.

Peav has been almost the exact same pitcher that made the All-Star team in 2012 in his first 12 starts in 2013. He has been a bit unlucky -- in terms of BABIP, home run rate, and strand rate -- but his batted ball rates are almost identical to his 2012 numbers. His strikeout-to-walk ratio has improved, but the overall results haven't matched that slight improvement just yet.

Like usual, Peavy relies heavily on a mix of fastballs with the occasional changeup or breaking ball to set hitters down. He throws some type of fastball -- four-seam, two-seam, or cutter -- over 75% of the time, and those rates go up against right-handed hitters. He throws a curveball and changeup roughly 15% of the time (each) to lefties, but that hasn't stopped them from hitting .277/.311/.484 against him this year.

Verlander's yo-yo-like 2013 season continued in his last start against the Kansas City Royals, allowing six runs (five earned) in 5 2/3 innings at Kauffman Stadium. He struggled with his fastball command again, walking four batters for the fourth time this season.

Overall, Verlander has been quite hit-or-miss against the division this season. In nine starts against AL Central teams, he has a 3.72 ERA. He has allowed one run or less in four of those starts, and five runs in three others, one of which was his start against the White Sox at Comerica Park prior to the All-Star Break.

Outlook

Peavy has been awesome at home this season, allowing eight earned runs in 34 2/3 innings. He has been able to keep the ball in the park, allowing just four homers in his five home starts. Meanwhile, Verlander has pulled a complete 180 on the struggles he had against the White Sox early in his career. Since 2010, Verlander is 9-2 with a 2.84 ERA against the Sox, including a 4-0 record and 2.53 ERA at U.S. Cellular Field.

Prediction

Verlander rebounds and the Tigers sweep.

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