Justin Verlander (3-9, 4.65) vs. Tim Lincecum (8-1, 1.99)
Now that the Tigers have figured out this winning thing at Comerica Park, they travel to California for six games and see if their roll can continue in the Pacific time zone.
First up, the San Francisco Giants, who are currently 10 games under .500 but generally playing better than was expected of them before the season. A big reason for the Giants' success is the pitching of Tim Lincecum, who's been spectacular. He's only allowed two total runs in his last three starts (21 innings), yet only has one win to show for the effort. Lincecum has also thrown 15 consecutive quality starts, going back to last year. Should we mention that he's striking out almost 10 batters per nine innings (9.6)?
Justin Verlander isn't quite on the same kind of streak, but he's never lost in Interleague Play. He's won all seven of his starts, posting a 1.99 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 49 2/3 innings. Verlander is also coming off his best game of the season, a complete game four-hitter vs. the White Sox. Of course, Verlander had the good stuff that night, but he also finally received some overdue run support from his lineup, which had to have helped his confidence.
I don't know if this Vernor's thing is going to work outside of Detroit, especially since I'm not sure if you can find it anywhere in San Francisco. But as you know, ginger ale has been very good to us over the past week.
McCovey Chronicles, a SB Nation institution, has your opposing view for this three-game series. I'm going to try and stay awake for these west coast games, and hope some of you guys are crazy enough to join me in the GameThread.