The Detroit Tigers and the Boston Red Sox will squeeze in a quick two-game set at Fenway Park before the first round of interleague play this upcoming weekend. The first pitch for Wednesday’s Game 1 is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. (PT) and it will be available on MLB TV.
It could be a tall task actually getting this game in as the weather forecast in Boston is calling for a 70 percent chance of rain right through game time with temperatures in the mid-50s and winds out of the north/northeast at 11 mph.
Detroit’s recent seven-game winning streak came to halt Monday night with a 4-2 loss to Toronto as a 155-home favorite. Nonetheless, the Tigers were 8-2 in their last 10 games heading into Tuesday's contest, and 22-19 overall. They were 11-8 at home and are a respectable 11-11 on the road and trail upstart Cleveland in the AL Central standings by 4.5 games.
The bats have been blazing for the Tigers in May with an average of 5.43 runs per game versus their season average of 4.61. They had scored nine or more runs in four of their last seven games.
Miguel Cabrera has led the way this season with 28 RBI and seven home runs. Victor Martinez has been hot lately with 10 RBI in a three-game stretch last week to give him a total of 23 this season.
Phil Coke is scheduled to get the start for Detroit on Wednesday. The left-hander has been struggling so far this season and is just 1-5 in seven starts with an ERA of 4.54. He has given up 34 hits and 17 earned runs in his last 25 2/3 innings pitched and has not lasted past the sixth inning this year. Coke is 2-1 against the Red Sox with a 3.29 ERA.
Boston brings a ton of momentum into this game after sweeping the Yankees three straight over the weekend and pulling out an 8-7 come-from-behind victory over Baltimore on Monday night as a 165-home favorite. Prior to Tuesday's contest, the Red Sox were finally over .500 at 21-20 after a dreadful 2-10 start. They are 9-11 on the road this season but 12-9 at home.
One of the biggest positives of Boston’s four-game winning streak has been the offensive production from a lineup that had underperformed in the early part of the season. The lineup pounded out 18 runs in three games against New York and rallied from a 6-0 hole against Baltimore that was capped off with two-run walk-off double by Adrian Gonzalez. He now has an MLB-high 37 RBI on the year and a team-high 55 hits.
Clay Buchholz will be on the mound for Boston. He is coming off his best start of the season after holding the Yankees to five hits and just two earned runs in seven innings of work last Friday night. He is now 4-3 on the year in eight previous starts and has an ERA of 3.94 and a 1.51 WHIP. Lifetime against the Tigers, Buchholz is 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA.
Detroit is 11-10 as a favorite this season and 11-9 as an underdog. The total has stayed ‘under’ in four of its last seven games but is 22-16-3 on the year.
Boston is 15-18 as a favorite and 6-2 as an underdog. The total has gone ‘over’ in four of its last six games and is 19-18-4 overall.
Head-to-head, this is the first meeting this season after the two evenly split their six games last year. Each team went 2-1 at home and the total went 3-2-1 overall. These two pitchers did not face one another, but Buchholz pitched twice against the Tigers in 2010 with both games resulting in a win for the Red Sox.
Stick with Buchholz and Boston again in this one as a home favorite to keep the team’s hot streak going with a win.