Detroit Tigers (44-38) at Cleveland Indians (49-32)
Time/Place: 7:10 p.m., Progressive Field
SB Nation blog: Let's Go Tribe
Media: Fox Sports Detroit, ESPN, MLB.TV, Tigers Radio Network
Pitching Matchup: LHP Daniel Norris (1-0, 4.09 ERA) vs. RHP Danny Salazar (10-3, 2.22 ERA)
The last time the Tigers faced Danny Salazar, they handed him his third-worst start of the season according to Bill James' Game Score. The bad news? Salazar only gave up three runs in 5 2/3 innings after being staked to an early 7-0 lead. Wacky ending aside, the win was Salazar's ninth of the season. He picked up a 10th 'W' in his last start, throwing eight shutout innings against the Atlanta Braves. Unless he fully implodes over his next two starts -- I wouldn't be opposed to this -- he should garner some serious All-Star attention after an excellent first half.
Prior to that start in Detroit two weeks ago, I pointed out that a few of Salazar's splits were working in the Tigers' favor. He is still allowing righties to post an OPS over 100 points higher than lefties, but his numbers at home are much stronger than those away from Progressive Field. In six home starts this season, Salazar has limited opponents to a 1.69 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. His 7.9 percent walk rate at home is much more manageable than the 14.3 percent rate he has in away games.
Tigers hitter to fear: James McCann (.500/.538/.667 in 13 plate appearances)
Tigers hitter to fail: Jose Iglesias (.200/.273/.200 in 11 plate appearances)
The Indians' lineup has been one of the most versatile in all of baseball over the past few years, creating a platoon advantage over 70 percent of the time in each of the past five seasons. This has generally resulted in fairly even splits against right- and left-handed pitching. However, this year's Tribe team has struggled against lefties, batting just .263/.315/.395. This translates to an 89 wRC+, the eighth-lowest figure in all of baseball. Daniel Norris hasn't been the sharpest we've seen over his first two major league starts this year, but this matchup is much more favorable than what he has seen previously.
Of course, the Tigers still need to find a way to score against Salazar.
The win streak ends at six.
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