Nate Robertson (6-8, 5.63) vs. Cliff Lee (14-2, 2.29)
The dance continues tonight in Cleveland, but at first glance, it looks like the Tigers are bringing their frumpy friend as a date, while the Tribe has the bombshell babe everyone else is looking at on its arm.
Cliff Lee has the best record in the major leagues, tied with Brandon Webb at 14 wins. His recipe for winning seems pretty simple: Don't give up any runs. In Lee's 20 starts this season, he's only allowed four runs or more four times. And each of those games was on the road. Most recently, Lee has given up just two runs or fewer in eight of his last nine starts. That streak began with a victory over the Tigers, by the way.
Compare that to Nate Robertson, who seems to routinely give up four runs or more. However, he allowed only three runs to the White Sox in his last start. Does that mean Robertson is due for a bad game, considering he usually can't string two good starts together? Perhaps. But he hasn't quite followed that good start/bad start pattern this season. This will be the first time Robertson has faced the Indians this season.
Given that runs probably won't come easily, and a quality start from Robertson is a hit-or-miss proposition, Jim Leyland might try to create some offense by putting some more speed in the lineup. Does that mean Ryan Raburn might play tonight, as John Lowe speculated today in the Freep? We'll see.
UPDATE: In case you haven't heard yet (and I think I was one of the last to catch this news), Pudge Rodriguez was dealt to the Yankees this afternoon for Kyle Farnsworth.