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Game 139 Preview: Tigers at Angels

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OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 04:  Zack Greinke #23 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum on September 4, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 04: Zack Greinke #23 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum on September 4, 2012 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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Detroit Tigers (73-65) at Los Angeles Angels (76-63)

Time/Place: 3:30 p.m., Angels Stadium of Anaheim

SB Nation Blog: Halos Heaven

Media: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network

Pitching Matchup: RHP Anibal Sanchez (7-11, 4.08 ERA) vs. RHP Zack Greinke (13-5, 3.72 ERA)

Greinke was struggling prior to his previous start against the Tigers, but his dominant performance in Detroit was the first of three consecutive fantastic outings leading up to today's game. He has gone at least 7 innings in each of those three starts while allowing a combined 14 hits and 4 runs. His career numbers against the Tigers are still gaudy: 12-6, 2.74 ERA, 1.156 WHIP.

Sanchez, meanwhile, has never faced the Angels. He has done a great job of shutting down Albert Pujols though, who has a .167/.231/.250 slash line against Sanchez in 13 career plate appearances. And like Pujols, it seems that Sanchez has finally settled in against the rest of the AL. His last three starts have been very solid, allowing 2 runs or less in 6+ innings in each outing. Unfortunately, the Tigers are just 1-2 in those games. Once again, the onus is on the offense today to give the starter some much needed run support.

Outlook

The Tigers are fighting one hell of an uphill battle to avoid being swept today, facing a red-hot Greinke on the road. Sanchez will need to bring his A-game and the offense will need to figure out a way to score more than a couple runs, but I think this team has more fight in them than the masses seem to believe at this point.

Prediction

The Tigers head to Chicago one game back of the White Sox at the end of the day.

Gameday Reading:

Angels Humiliate Justin Verlander While Miguel Cabrera Self-Destructs in Tigers Loss - Halos Heaven
"C.J. Wilson pitched like an ace while Justin Verlander looked hittable and then looked beatable and then was beaten. The Angels took the second game of the series with a five-run margin that wasn't even really that close."

I Have Absolutely Nothing Good To Say About This Game - Walkoff Woodward, Grey Papke
"If you went to bed early, you missed nothing."

Daily Notes, Featuring a Not Unimportant Game in LA - FanGraphs Baseball, Carson Cistulli
Apparently this is the NERDiest game of the day.