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Game 51 Preview: Tigers at Red Sox

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Presswire

Detroit Tigers (23-27) at Boston Red Sox (26-24)

Time/Place: 7:00 p.m., Fenway Park

SB Nation Blog: Over the Monster

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

Pitching Matchup: Max Scherzer (4-3, 5.67 ERA) vs. Josh Beckett (4-4, 4.15 ERA)

This should be a good one. Beckett is basically a rich man's Max Scherzer. He can be really, really good or -- as we saw in Detroit in April -- really, really prone to giving up long home runs. He has decent numbers against the Tigers (3-3 record, 3.65 ERA throughout his career) but tends to fare much better at home. In his last two starts against the Tigers at Fenway -- one last season, one in 2009 -- he has given up three runs in 13 innings. Beckett's last three starts have been stellar: at least 7 IP in all three with just three total runs allowed.

Scherzer was the victim of a rain delay in his last start, giving up 3 runs in 5 1/3 innings before hitting the showers. He only threw 80 pitches, so he had anywhere from 1/3 to 3 innings left in him (it's amazing how true that is, isn't it?). His career splits at Fenway are AWESOME... when you overlook the fact that he's only pitched there one time. His last start against the Red Sox was last season at Comerica Park, and it didn't go too well. We'll just leave it at that.

Outlook

The fact that the Red Sox are in last place speaks volume about the Tigers' chances at winning the AL Central this season. While the Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles have identical records atop their respective divisions, at least the Tigers don't have to catch four teams. And here's a big one: in the last 25 days (including tonight's game), the Tigers will have played 24 games. Nineteen of those games have been on the road. If the Tigers win today, they will be 10-14 in that stretch. Not too shabby if you ask me.

Prediction

Hey, 9-15 isn't the end of the world.

Gameday Reading:

Josh Beckett strong again for Red Sox - The Boston Globe, Michael Whitmer
"He produced his seventh quality start in nine outings - tops on the team - allowing four hits and two runs in seven innings. He didn’t walk a batter for the first time this season, and struck out five."

Red Sox 6, Tigers 4: Quick Reaction - Over the Monster, Ben Buchanan
"It's a big win to stay above .500, give themselves some breathing room, and pick up a series win against the team that so frustrated them at the beginning of the year."

Red Sox 6, Tigers 4: It’s still early, but maybe it’s not - Walkoff Woodward, Brian Packey
"To calm the nerves a little bit, I could tell you there’s almost 70-percent of the season left and that the Tigers were only a half game better off this time a year ago before turning it on; that’d be the truth."