Jun 8, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) watches from the dug att against the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Verlander Is Key To Detroit Tigers Series Against Cleveland

For the first time this season theDetroit Tigers find themselves looking up in the standings. They are a 1/2 game behind Kansas City going into the series opener tonight in Cleveland after dropping 3 of 4 to Kansas City at home.

Now the Tigers find themselves trying to stay with striking distance of the Royals after winning just 10 times in their last 30 games.

To keep pace with the red-hot Royals the Tigers will have to win the series in Cleveland. That won’t be an easy task considering Cleveland will be motivated by the thought that with a sweep they could leap-frog the Tigers into 2nd place in the AL Central.

The game on Saturday may be the key to the series and determine whether the Tigers keep pace or fall even further behind in the Al Central standings.

The starter for Saturdays game is Justin Verlander and to say he has been struggling lately is a vast understatement. The Tigers former ace has given up 7 runs in consecutive outings and is a shadow of his Cy Young self.

A solid outing by Verlander on Saturday could go a long way to securing a series or sweep depending on the result Porcello’s outing on Friday.

But looking at Justin Verlander’s career numbers at Progressive Field doesn’t fill a fan with confidence.  Verlander is 9-11 with a 2.96 ERA and a 1.366 WHIP on the road against Cleveland.  Not terrible numbers but not encouraging either considering Verlander’s current slump.

Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians Probable Pitchers and Start Times

Friday June 20th – 7:05 pm

Rick Porcello V Corey Kulber

Saturday June 21st  – 7:15 pm

Justin Verlander V Trevor Bauer

Sunday June 22nd – 1:05 pm

Max Scherzer V Josh Tomlin

Tags: Detroit Tigers Justin Verlander

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