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Open Thread - Game 47: Indians (28-17) at Tigers (29-17), 7:05 p.m. EST

Paul Byrd (4-1, 3.55) vs. Nate Robertson (4-3, 3.62)

Check out Five Questions with Let's Go Tribe below.

At last we meet, Cleveland Indians. Through almost 50 games this season, the Tigers and Indians have been walking up and down the thoroughfare of the AL Central, sizing each other up, and taking turns sitting in the big chair. Coming into this series, Detroit has a half-game lead over Cleveland for the division lead, and it looks like the race will stay this tight throughout the season, unless either team can create some space in these head-to-head match-ups.

In his career against Detroit, Byrd is 6-2 with a 3.04 ERA. (Last year, he was 1-1 with a 3.80 ERA in four starts.) Right now, he's making me eat some crow (and if I was trying to make a pun, that's a terrible attempt).

Before the season, when I looked over the Indians' roster, their starting rotation seemed shaky to me. And Byrd was the guy I had circled. Yeah, I kind of thought he was done. So far, not so much. He gives up a lot of hits, and has thrown a couple of stinkers, but for the most part, Byrd has given his team a chance to win in each one of his starts. However, I'm going to dwell on that "he gives up a lot of hits" part because the Tigers are mashing the hell out of that baseball.

Robertson finally got back that winning feeling against the Cardinals last weekend after losing his two previous starts. But he's racking up some high pitch counts and not getting very deep into games. In his career against the Indians, Robertson has a 2-3 record with an 5.00 ERA. (Last year, he was 1-1 in two starts. And Jhonny Peralta hit 3-for-5 off him, so even if he wasn't already having a great season, he might be worth keeping an eye on tonight.)

Your SB Nation opposing view for the series can be found at the aforementioned Let's Go Tribe. This should be fun. Let's hope the Tigers give Cleveland sports fans something else to talk about besides "LeBron was fouled!"

Short Hops:

▪▪ Yahoo! Sports' Tim Brown previews this series on his blog today.

▪▪ How cool is this? Lee Panas clarifies fantasy baseball and sabermetrics for Robert Sanchez of the Denver Post.

▪▪ Mike McClary lays it out for Todd Helton: If he goes to the Yankees, the man-crush is over.

▪▪ D-Town Baseball compares Gary Sheffield and Brandon Inge.

▪▪ And here's something we should discuss in future posts: Todd Jones plans to pitch in 2008. Should he be the Tigers closer next year?