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Game 36 Preview: Tigers at White Sox

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Detroit Tigers (17-18) at Chicago White Sox (17-19)

Time/Place: 2:00 p.m., U.S. Cellular Field

SB Nation Blog: South Side Sox

Media: Fox Sports Detroit, WGN (Chicago broadcast) MLB.TV (Free Game of the Day), Tigers Radio Network

Pitching Matchup: Max Scherzer (1-3, 6.32 ERA) vs. Jake Peavy (4-1, 1.89 ERA)

Seriously, this is getting ridiculous. I should start getting royalties for the number of times that I've had to profile Peavy this year. His last start was more of the same: 7 IP, 7 hits, 1 run against the Cleveland Indians. I continue to say "he's back," someone disagrees in the comments, and then Peavy goes out and dominates. Trust me, I wish the third portion of that equation could change, but I still don't see it happening.

Scherzer has already turned in two very impressive starts against the White Sox this season, striking out 20 hitters in 13 innings. He has also been outdueled twice by White Sox pitching -- first Peavy, then Gavin Floyd. Based on the pattern we've seen so far -- loss, then a no decision -- we can only expect for today's start to result in a win. Either way, I think that Scherzer will pitch well despite this being the third time that he is facing the White Sox this season.

Stagnant offense or great pitching?

We're all aware that the Tigers are struggling to score runs this year, but a lot of people have blamed the sluggish offense on the Tigers hitters. At Tiger Tales, Lee Panas posted a look at some of the AL pitching leaders, and there are a lot of familiar names on that list. For instance, the Tigers have already faced 9 of the AL's top 20 pitchers in wOBA. They are facing #2 (Peavy) again today, and have also gone up against #5 (Seattle's Jason Vargas) twice this year. While the Tigers aren't helping themselves at times, more credit needs to be given to the pitchers that the Tigers have faced, because they're doing the same thing to other teams.

Outlook

Last night's loss was frustrating for us fans, but I can imagine that the Tigers are encouraged at the production from the middle of the order. Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Delmon Young, and Ryan Raburn combined for 10 hits after having a total of 15 (nine from Cabrera) in the four game series against Oakland. Now if the pitching staff would learn to pitch Dayan Viciedo inside and not throw fastballs to Adam Dunn, we would be in business.

Prediction

Delmon Young homers today.

Gameday Reading:

White Sox 7, Tigers 5: An unusual amount of resolve at home - South Side Sox, Jim Margalus
"But the White Sox didn't count themselves out, and thanks to some timely hits with guys on base -- and a 2-0 home run advantage -- they have their most impressive victory of the season."

Jake Peavy picks up fourth victory, is confident Sox can be contenders - Chicago Sun-Times, Daryl van Schouwen
"Five weeks into the season, Jake Peavy has a handle on who the White Sox are. He sees a team with enough talent to be a postseason contender, but one that must scratch, claw and cash in on scoring opportunities."