Justin Verlander (3-9, 4.55) vs. Randy Wolf (5-5, 4.16)
What better way to finish off a series and a six-game road than by sending your ace out to the mound? And Justin Verlander isn't just an ace in name only these days; he's pitching like the staff stud, too. Though he only has one win in his last three starts, Verlander gave up just six runs in 22 innings. The no-decision he took on Monday against San Francisco was the first time he hadn't won in Interleague Play.
Gaslamp Ball also reminds us that Padres fans love to be reminded of the 2004 draft, when San Diego could've selected Verlander #1 overall.
Before tripping up in his last outing, Randy Wolf had put together six straight quality starts. But the quality of competition should probably be considered, as each of those six opponents is currently under .500. Against the Yankees on Tuesday, Wolf gave up seven runs (five earned) on six hits.
With Jon Paul Morosi writing about the Tigers possibly adding a veteran fifth starter (though he nixes any thoughts on acquiring Derek Lowe), maybe Wolf is someone we should all take a closer look at today. He's a free agent after the season, and especially compared to someone like Lowe, has a pretty affordable salary ($4.75 million.) Wolf hasn't pitched in the American League before, which is a concern, but he's always posted good strikeout numbers (77 in 88 2/3 innings this year).
Lineup notes: Ryan Raburn plays second base today, while Marcus Thames returns to left field. Pudge Rodriguez is also back behind the plate.