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Open Thread - Game 28: Tigers (16-11) at Royals (10-19), 8:10 p.m. EST

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Justin Verlander (1-1, 2.79) vs. Brian Bannister (0-1, 4.91)

The unbalanced schedule brings the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals together again for the third time in a five-week-old 2007 season. How's this arrangement working for you?

Back when Major League Baseball played a balanced schedule, I'll admit that I thought it might be better for teams to play their division opponents more often. But really, that occurred to me only when a division race was between two teams, and it just seemed like they should have to play each other for the title. Nowadays, I miss seeing the other teams in the American League - especially from the AL East - more than once or twice a season. Would I feel differently if the Tigers were playing an AL Central team other than the Royals again so soon? Maybe, but probably not. Doesn't it also feel like the Yankees and Red Sox have played each other every weekend so far? Especially when that first series at Fenway Park was so over-hyped?

Over at The Detroit Tigers Weblog, Billfer is asking his readers what rule change they'd most like to see. I'm not trying to stuff the ballot, but speaking out against unbalanced schedules could be a good place to begin.

Back to the matter at hand, Verlander is looking to bounce back from a rough outing last weekend. He seemed pretty rattled facing the Twins, but since he's pitched well against the Royals, it's hard to imagine he won't be sharper tonight. On the other side, Bannister is making only his third start of the season after being called up from AAA Omaha. And his first two weren't terribly impressive. (Actually, this will be only his ninth career start.) Wait until he finds out that Pudge Rodriguez feasts on Royals pitching like a tiger devours young deer. Rrraawwr!

Your SB Nation opposing view comes from our friends at Royals Review.

Short Hops:

▪▪ I'm not sure where Kenny Rogers expected to be in his rehab by now, but right now, he says his arm isn't where he wants it to be.

▪▪ Both D-Town Baseball and Mack Avenue Tigers have commented on Detroit's reported interest in pitcher Brian Lawrence. Like Kurt and Eric, I'm not really feeling this one, either. A starting pitcher doesn't seem like a crying need right now, especially with Leyland shuffling the rotation for the next couple of weeks. At this point, I'd much rather see the Tigers go for some extra bullpen help (upgrade over Jose Mesa). But maybe they envision Lawrence as a long reliever.

▪▪ The Tigers won't have to face Gil Meche in this weekend's three-game series, but ESPN.com's Buster Olney shares some interesting information about his delivery that's made a difference in his success this season.

▪▪ And Joe Posnanski of the Kansas City Star has posted a Baseball Glossary that's good for some giggles. Who knew there were so many euphemisms for "fat"?