Game 87 Preview: Dodgers at Tigers

Stephen Dunn

Max Scherzer takes the mound for the Tigers against Zack Greinke and the Dodgers in an afternoon battle of Cy Young winners at Comerica Park.

Los Angeles Dodgers (51–41) at Detroit Tigers (4937)

Time/Place: 1:08 p.m., Comerica Park

SB Nation blog: True Blue LA

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

Pitching Matchup: RHP Zack Greinke (11–4, 2.66 ERA) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (10–3, 3.47 ERA)

Pitcher GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 WHIP FIP SIERA fWAR
Greinke 18 111.2 9.6 1.80 1.00 1.18 3.02 2.80 2.0
Scherzer 18 119.1 10.48 2.49 0.83 1.19 2.88 2.93 3.0

Four and a half seasons have passed since Zack Greinke won the Cy Young award with the Kansas City Royals in 2009. The right-hander has been through Milwaukee and Anaheim before landing a six year, $148 million contract with the Dodgers, where he remains one of the best starting pitchers in the game. Entering today's game, Greinke ranks among the top ten starters in the National League in ERA, FIP, and fWAR. He ranks second in strikeout rate and is tied for the league lead in wins, with eleven.

Max Scherzer, the reigning Cy Young winner in the American League, has ten victories of his own, and remains among the leaders in the major pitching categories. He was just named to the All-Star team for his second consecutive season. In his second start of this season, Scherzer went seven innings at Dodger Stadium, allowing two runs on eight hits, one walk and eight strikeouts. The Tigers lost that game when Phil Coke and Rajai Davis teamed up to allow a runner to score from first base on a liner to the left field corner in the tenth inning.

The match up features two of the best pitchers in the game, by any standards. It is the last of four meetings between the two favorites for the World Series at the beginning of the season. Greinke has not faced the Tigers since 2012. He holds a career record of 13-6 with a 2.74 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP against Detroit.

Hitter to fear: Dee Gordon is batting .375/.375/.875 in eight plate appearances vs Scherzer.
Hitter to fail: Matt Kemp is 0 for 18 (.000) with 5 strikeouts against Max.

Outlook

In a battle of heavyweight teams and heavyweight pitchers, the Tigers hold the edge offensively. The Dodgers will have a chance to use a designated hitter, but might be better off letting Greinke, the silver slugger winner, just go ahead and bat. The DH advantage could be mitigated by the absence of Victor Martinez if he is unable to play.  Carl Crawford is on the disabled list for the Dodgers.

Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Clayton Kershaw, and AJ Ellis remain on the Dodgers from the 2010 roster which included Brad Ausmus as a catcher.

Prediction

The Tigers win a squeaker, nervously holding on as Ausmus goes to the bullpen against his former team.

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