May 11, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) pitches in the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Smoking Aces Yu Darvish VS Justin Verlander Kick Off Tigers/Rangers

This is the biggest series and test yet for the Detroit Tigers this season.  The Texas Rangers are playing great baseball and looked as if they made some additions by subtraction.  Gone are Josh Hamilton and Micheal Young and the Rangers haven’t missed a beat. That is in large part because of newcomer Lance Berkman (.293 3 HR 20 RBI) and the establishment of Mitch Moreland as an everyday player (.290 9 HR and 18 RBI). Another newcomers to the Rangers line-up is former Tiger Jeff Baker.  Baker has hit 4 dingers in just 40 at-bats and seems to have found a home with Ron Washington and the Rangers.

The Texas Rangers come in to tonight’s game with a 26-14 record and first place in the American League West.  Critics would say that the Rangers are benefiting from sharing a division with the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. But astute baseball minds (like mine of course) would look at contributions from players, once stifled by some of the big names in the Texas line-up.  With Josh Hamilton gone to L.A. , Ian Kinsler has stepped into the leadership role with the team and having an MVP type season batting .304 with 7 HR.

Tonight however is all about the pitching match-up as a pair of Ace’s compete in the Texas heat.

May 11, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish (11) throws a pitch against the Houston Astros in the first inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Yu Darvish is off to a Cy Young type start.  He is 6-1 with a 2.73 ERA while amassing 80 strikeouts. His opponent Justin Verlander hasn’t seemed to be as dominate this season but has still managed 4 wins and a tiny ERA of 1.93. It should be an epic pitching match-up that should go to Justin Verlander considering he doesn’t have to face reigning Triple Crown winner and MVP Miguel Cabrera.   The two will face off tonight in Texas starting at 8:05 pm.

Here are the pitching match-ups for the rest of the series:

Friday 8:05 pm

Rick Porcello, RHP  Stats 1-2, 6.68 ERA vs Nick Tepesch, RHP  Stats 3-3, 4.03 ERA

Saturday 8:05 pm

Anibal Sanchez, RHP Stats 4-3, 2.05 ERA Justin Grimm, RHP  Stats 2-3, 4.28 ERA

Sunday 8:05 pm

Doug Fister, RHP Stats 5-1, 3.06 ERA vs Derek Holland, LHP  Stats 3-2, 2.93 ERA

You can catch most of the game on Fox Sports Detroit except for Sunday’s game which will be featured on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. You can keep up with the entire series by logging on to Detroit Jock City and the reading the DJC Morning Drive for all the recaps, scores and stories.

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Tags: All Detroit Sports Detroit Sports Detroit Tigers Justin Verlander Texas Rangers Yu Darvish

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