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Previewing the Detroit Tigers, Motor City Bengals Style

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(note: This is a guest post offered up by Motor City Bengals contributing writer Zac Snyder. Since we don’t get to see many American League teams in Atlanta, Zac has been gracious enough to give us an introduction to the Detroit Tigers. To complete the trade, I sent a Braves introductionto Zac.)

By Zac Snyder

Friday: Andy Oliver (ML Debut) got the call from AA Erie to start for the demoted Rick Porcello. Oliver was a second round draft choice in 2009 out of Oklahoma State. He has found success in the hitter friendly Eastern League to the tune of a 6-4 record and 3.60 ERA with 70 K’s in 77 and a third innings. Oliver is a hard throwing lefty that can work comfortably in the mid-90’s.

Saturday: Max Scherzer (4-6, 5.67) will pitch the middle game of the three game set; his sixth start since being recalled from a brief stint in the minors following a series of ineffective outings. Four of his last five starts have been quality starts of at least six innings pitched with three or less earned runs. Scherzer’s velocity has returned since his recall, he can hit 95 mph on the gun regularly, but will mix in a slider and chageup.

Sunday: Justin Verlander (8-5, 3.94) should be well rested after going just two innings in his previous start due to rain. Justin had gone at least seven innings in each of his previous six starts. Verlander tends to throw his fastball around 94 mph early in games and dial is up as the game goes on. Don’t be surprised to see triple digits if the forecasted temperatures arrive. Hitters are kept off balance by a plus curveball and a changeup. Justin Verlander fancies himself as the best hitter of the Tigers pitching staff; I’m sure he’ll prove it by getting a hit one of these years.

Hot: Magglio Ordonez has played in nine games since missing six with a strained oblique and the injury hasn’t lingered whatsoever. Maggs has at least one hit in eight of those nine games and 16 overall, including two home runs. Ordonez has returned to All-Star form just a year removed from fans calling for his release.

Not: Playing in National League parks makes it tough for Johnny Damon to get into the lineup. He played one game in New York, getting the start in centerfield, but he isn’t a great defender and his bat hasn’t been something the Tigers absolutely have to have in their lineup. Damon has just three hits in his last 27 at-bats and his average sits at .273 overall, the lowest it has been since his 15-game hitting streak in April.

Name to Remember: Jason Heyward rightfully gets a lot of publicity as a hot-shot rookie outfielder, a title that Brennan Boesch also deserves. Both players have 13 doubles, three triples, 11 home runs, and at least 39 RBI. The difference? Thanks to a .337 batting average, Brennan Boesch has done it in 66 fewer at-bats.