Well, well, well, Toronto. We meet again. And so soon. The weather kept the Tigers and Jays from deciding their season-opening series last week at Comerica Park, but the schedule has two of the top teams in the American League meeting again quickly to settle the score. (Unless, like, the Tigers and Jays split the four-game series.)
Fortunately for the Tigers, tonight's pitching match-up might give them the early advantage. Ohka didn't look so hot in his first start of the season at Tampa Bay (again, his ERA surely tipped you off to that), though the Jays eventually came back to win that game. As far as past history to consider, you have two small samples to choose from. Ohka is 2-0 with a 2.74 ERA in two career starts at Rogers Centre, but his two games against the Tigers have left him with an 0-1 record and 11.12 ERA.
Maroth wasn't spectacular last week at Kansas City either, but he stayed in the game long enough for the Detroit bats to get him the win. Of course, you have to wonder if the team is worn out after a 12-inning late night to finish their series with the Orioles. But maybe the Tigers will still be riding high after Clutch Craig-o's mighty bat bolted them out of Baltimore magnificently.
Two lineup notes worth mentioning: As expected, Mike Rabelo will make his first start of the season at catcher, giving Pudge Rodriguez a chance to rest that sore left foot. And Jim Leyland has decided to put Gary Sheffield in right field tonight, moving Magglio Ordonez over to DH.
"I'm trying to get him going a little bit -- try something different," Leyland told the Detroit Free Press. "Change the scenery a little bit. He's having a tough time adjusting to the DH thing. He's always been a player (in the field).
Leyland emphasized, however, that this is only a temporary change, and Sheffield will remain Detroit's first option at designated hitter. Tomorrow night, however, Sheffield will stay in the outfield by switching places with Craig Monroe in left field.
And for the opposing perspective on the series, check out SB Nation broham, Bluebird Banter.