Detroit Tigers at Texas Rangers (-185, 10.5)
The Texas Rangers will trot out a rookie starter for the second consecutive game with the hope that Yu Darvish will fare better than Justin Grimm. Detroit scored five runs against Grimm in the first inning en route to an 8-2 triumph. The victory helped cool down a Texas club that had won eight of its previous nine games. Darvish will do battle with fellow first-year hurler Drew Smyly, who returns to the Tigers’ rotation after a stint on the 15-day disabled list.
Texas continues to lead the major leagues in most offensive categories, but it has been pitching that has fueled the recent surge. The Rangers have gotten three shutout wins this month, allowing just 18 runs in their 12 victories since June 8. Detroit has not been above the .500 mark since May 10, and Rick Porcello’s solid work on Monday notwithstanding, it has been a lack of consistent pitching behind ace Justin Verlander that has held the Tigers back. TV:
8:05 p.m. ET, MLB Network (national), Fox Sports (Detroit), Fox Sports Houston (Texas) PITCHING MATCHUP:
Tigers LH Drew Smyly (2-2, 3.96 ERA) vs. Rangers RH Yu Darvish (9-4, 3.45 ERA)
Smyly is making his first start since June 10, spending the last 15 days on the disabled list with a severe blister on his left middle finger. Prior to his absence, he had endured a rough stretch of six starts, allowing 23 runs in 29 2/3 innings as his ERA rose from 1.59 to 3.96. Smyly pitched six innings in a no-decision against Texas on April 22.
Darvish hasn’t been unhittable, but he has enjoyed a solid rookie campaign nonetheless, striking out 96 hitters in 88 2/3 innings. The newcomer has fanned 19 in winning his last two starts after allowing a career-worst six runs at Oakland on June 7. Darvish defeated Detroit on April 19, giving up one run on two hits (with five walks) in a road win.TRENDS:
* Over is 10-3-2 in the last 15 meetings in Texas.
* Tigers are 1-4 in the last five meetings in Texas.
* Tigers are 4-0 in their last four games as an underdog.
* Rangers are 8-2 in their last 10 overall.
UMP TRENDS - Gary Darling:
* Over is 12-5-1 in Darlings last 18 games behind home plate.
* Tigers are 11-5 in their last 16 games with Darling behind home plate.
* Home team is 5-1 in Darlings last six games behind home plate.WALK-OFFS:
1. The Rangers lost at home Monday for just the 17th time in their last 54 home contests.
2. The Tigers are just 2-for-21 against Darvish, with 3B Don Kelly (1-for-3) and DH Delmon Young (1-for-2 with a double) getting the only hits.
3. Texas hitters went 5-for-22 against Smyly in April, with CF Josh Hamilton (3-for-3, home run) doing the bulk of the damage.