Though it seems as if the Tigers are effectively out of the AL Central and playoff race after getting swept in Tampa, this three-game series with the White Sox could either put a more definitive note on that sentiment or keep this team in the limbo it's been swimming in for the past couple of months. Perhaps it's delusional thinking, but what if Detroit wins two out of three games? Are they squarely in the division race or is it just another hope-tantalizing tease? Of course, if the Sox win or sweep, the bus toward 2009 can probably start moving. (It's already warmed up.)
Nate Robertson might find himself in a similar limbo after tonight. Given his abominable performance recently (7.77 ERA in his last four outings), this could very well be his last start for the Tigers. But what if Nate goes out and throws one of those games that shows just how good he can be when it all comes together? Or what if it's just good enough, as it was the last time he faced the White Sox?
Honestly, what would be more frustrating: For Robertson to blow up yet again tonight or to pitch well? A terrible game would mean a loss, yet perhaps push the Tigers into making a decision. A good game might help, but really wouldn't really answer anything. (Though it could possibly boost any trade value he might have.)
For the White Sox, Gavin Floyd is 3-0 with a 3.77 ERA in seven career starts against Detroit. At first glance, this looks like a brutal series-opening match-up.
Those waiting for big changes in tonight's lineup will likely be disappointed. Ryan Raburn gets the start in left field, but that's probably because he's 5-for-12 against Floyd. No word on the bullpen, however. Also, Ozzie Guillen has been suspended for two games for his role in Sunday's brawl with Kansas City.
South Side Sox has your SB Nation opposing view for this three-game series.