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Open Thread - Game 156: Royals (67-87) at Tigers (84-71)

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Jorge De La Rosa (8-11, 5.40) vs. Justin Verlander (17-6, 3.70), 1:05 p.m. EST

For the sake of those who attending the final day of Fan Appreciation Weekend (Shirt Off Their Backs after the game!) this afternoon at Comerica Park, let's hope the Tigers give the home crowd a more appealing show than they did last night.

Justin Verlander should pitch better today than he did in his last start, if for no other reason than he probably can't pitch much worse. At the very least, Verlander likely won't serve up as many home runs as he did to the Indians on Tuesday. Crashing down with seven runs in 5 2/3 innings all but ended the Tigers' season. I imagine he'd prefer not to go out like that, and the Royals are a good team to close out his home season with. In his career versus the Royals, Verlander is 5-0 with a 2.17 ERA.

For the Royals, Jorge De La Rosa is making his first start since going on the disabled list at the beginning of August. Because of that, he'll be restricted to 60-65 pitches today. Last Wednesday, De La Rosa threw three innings of relief against the White Sox and gave up one run on four hits.

With the left-handed De La Rosa on the mound, Cameron Maybin will be getting the start in centerfield. Actually, it's an almost all-understudy lineup for the Tigers today. Ryan Raburn is in right field for Magglio Ordonez. And Gary Sheffield has the day off, while Carlos Guillen bats at DH.