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Game 109: Tigers (55-53) at Rays (63-44)

Zach Miner (5-3, 3.65) vs. Scott Kazmir (8-5, 2.84)

Those who have been waiting for the Tigers to re-discover the magic from 2006 might find that good feeling in their opponent tonight. The Tampa Bay Rays are this season's Wonder Boys, leading the kind of last-to-first thrill ride that can energize a city and fanbase. Currently, the Rays lead the AL East by three games, ahead of the media darlings of baseball playing in Boston and New York.

You could see Tampa accumulating the sort of young talent that might make this sort of run someday, but as long as they were in the same division as the Red Sox and Yankees, it seemed like they might eventually hit a glass ceiling. To this point, however, the Rays have hung tough. It will be interesting to see, however, if a young team might be affected by their front office not making an addition at the trade deadline (though they took a shot at Jason Bay), while their vaunted rivals both made key moves.

With Justin Verlander blowing up in his last two outings, is it possible that Zach Miner is currently the Tigers' best starting pitcher after just two starts? So far, he's made a nice transition from reliever to starter, giving up just two runs in 12 innings, with just one walk vs. six strikeouts.

Also pitching well in his last two starts is Scott Kazmir, and his previous outing might have been even better, had a rain delay not cut his night short. Kazmir has also allowed only two runs in his last 12 innings, but of course, he has a much longer track record to judge. Approximately a year ago, Kazmir faced the Tigers in Detroit, and held them to just three hits in six scoreless innings.

DRaysBay has your SB Nation opposing view for this weekend's series.