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Series Preview: Tigers at Red Sox

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Detroit Tigers (22-19) at Boston Red Sox (21-20)

Probable Pitchers:
Wednesday, May 18 7:10p:
LHP Phil Coke (1-5, 4.54 ERA, 25 K)
Hitter to Fear: Dustin Pedroia (2 for 3, 1 2B)
Hitter to Fail: David Ortiz (1 for 9, 3 K)

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RHP Clay Buchholz (4-3, 3.94 ERA, 30 K)
Hitter to Fear: Ryan Raburn (3 for 6, 1 HR, 2 RBI)
Hitter to Fail: Miguel Cabrera (1 for 10, 3 K)

Thursday, May 19 7:10p:
RHP Justin Verlander (4-3, 2.91 ERA, 62 K)
Hitter to Fear: Kevin Youkilis (5 for 14, 2 HR, 3 RBI)
Hitter to Fail: Jarrod Saltalamacchia (0 for 6, 4 K)

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RHP Josh Beckett (3-1, 1.75 ERA)
Hitter to Fear: Jhonny Peralta (4 for 12, 3 BB)
Hitter to Fail: Miguel Cabrera (0 for 6, 2 K)

Analysis:
Phil Coke will start the two-game series off on Wednesday night for the Tigers. Though he hasn't won a game in his last 5 starts, he showed a little improvement in his last start, going into the 6th inning while only giving up 2 runs on 5 hits.

The Red Sox send Clay Buchholz to the mound who has won his last 3 starts. In those starts, his ERA is an impressive 1.93 and 15 strikeouts. Buchholz also sports a 9-2 career record in the month of May.
In the finale, you can obviously expect a low scoring game as Justin Verlander squares off against Josh Beckett. The stats are against the Tigers unfortunately, as Josh Beckett is 2-0 with a 0.34 ERA at home this season. Yes, I said 0.34 ERA.

Boston will also bring a couple extremely hot bats to this series. Adrian Gonzalez is leading the majors with 37 RBIs and is batting .349 this month. The other half of the dynamic duo is David Ortiz, who is hitting .316 in the month of May.

The Tigers will hope to ride the hot bats of Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta to give some much needed run support to Phil Coke and Justin Verlander. As for the struggling Miguel Cabrera, this will be a tough series to turn his bat around. He combines for 1 hit against both Boston starters in his career. In his last 10 games, Cabrera is 5 for 32 with 8 strikeouts.

One more stat to make you nervous about the series, Boston shortstop Jed Lowrie is hitting .442 against lefties this season. Was skipping Rick Porcello the best decision?