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Game 141 Preview: Giants at Tigers

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The Tigers and Giants face off for the first time since 2011. What's that? No, they haven't played since then. Not at all.

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Thearon W. Henderson

San Francisco Giants (76-64) at Detroit Tigers (77-63)

Time/Place: 7:08 p.m., Comerica Park

SB Nation blog: McCovey Chronicles

Media: Fox Sports Detroit, MLB.TVTigers Radio Network

Pitching Matchup: RHP Jake Peavy (4-13, 4.15 ERA) vs. RHP Rick Porcello (15-9, 3.10 ERA)

Pitcher GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 WHIP FIP SIERA fWAR
Peavy 27 171.1 7.14 3.05 1.16 1.34 4.33 4.16 1.5
Porcello 26 180.0 5.45 1.65 0.75 1.14 3.60 3.87 3.0

It has largely been a tale of two seasons for Jake Peavy in 2014, who was traded from the Boston Red Sox to the Giants in late July. Peavy started off hot, but went 0-7 with a 5.65 ERA in May and June. The Red Sox didn't provide much help either, as the team went 2-10 in his 12 starts during that stretch. Overall, Peavy allowed a 4.72 ERA and 4.80 FIP with a 2.17 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 20 starts with the Red Sox.

Since arriving in San Francisco, things have gone much better for the 33 year old right-hander. Peavy is just 3-4 with the Giants, but has a 2.66 ERA and 3.10 FIP with a 3.0 strikeout-to-walk ratio in seven starts. He has also benefitted from the move to a spacious home ballpark, having allowed just two home runs in 47 1/3 innings. He has gone seven innings or more in five of his seven starts with the Giants.

Unlike Max Scherzer yesterday, Rick Porcello has not been as effective at Comerica Park as he has been on the road this season. For whatever reason, Porcello is less sharp, posting a 2.93 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 4.00 FIP at home compared to 3.53 and 3.30, respectively, on the road. The strangest part? His line drive rate is much lower at home, while his ground ball rate is a healthy 54 percent (compared to 46 percent away from home). It's worth mentioning that Porcello's only two outings of the season with six or more earned runs allowed have come at Comerica Park.

Tigers hitter to fear: Torii Hunter (.429/.455/.762 in 22 plate appearances)
Tigers hitter to fail: Rajai Davis (.000/.000/.000 in 10 plate appearances)

Rick Porcello has one career start against the Giants, a seven inning effort way back in 2011. He has only faced five players on the Giants' roster, and just one -- outfielder Gregor Blanco -- more than four times. Meanwhile, Peavy has made 13 career starts against the Tigers with little to no success. He is 4-6 with a 5.03 ERA in those outings and has allowed an .850 OPS against hitters currently on the Tigers' roster in his career. Torii Hunter, Ian Kinsler, and Victor Martinez all have an OPS above 1.000 while Miguel Cabrera is not far behind at .921 in 55 plate appearances.

Outlook

The worst is over, Tigers fans. After a brutal stretch of 48 games in 48 days, the Tigers get to play their next nine games and 16 of their final 22 regular season matchups at home. This weekend's series also marks the final three games of the season against non-AL Central competition. The Giants are no slouches by any means, having won seven of their last nine games as they battle for playoff position in the National League. Their offense has been better than expected as well, ranking fourth in the NL in runs scored, fourth in batting average, and third in wRC+.

Prediction

The Tigers continue to handle Peavy en route to a win in the series opener.

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