Interleague play takes over Sunday Night Baseball as the Tigers host the Braves.
Atlanta Braves at Detroit Tigers (-135, 7.5)
DOING THE DOUGIE
Doug Fister has been great early for Detroit. The righty is 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA, delivering three straight quality starts. He had his shakiest start to open the season, giving up three runs and six hits in five innings of work against the Yankees. Fister then allowed just three earned runs over his next three starts against Toronto, Seattle, and the Angels. Fister has displayed sufficient control, yielding only a total of six free passes in those four outings. The Detroit starter made three starts last year against the NL, giving up just three earned runs and 15 hits.
Mike Minor is 3-1 with a 1.80 ERA on the year and he’s coming off a solid outing in Colorado against the Rockies. Minor has already had a taste of interleague play, losing to the Royals at home despite giving up just one run and five hits in six innings. Minor's control has been fantastic this season, walking just three batters, while striking out 21.
The Braves are nowhere near full strength, especially in the offensive lineup where they are without Jason Heyward and Brian McCann. Both hope to be back in May as Heyward deals with an appendectomy and McCann a shoulder ailment. On the pitching side, they are without Jonny Venters and Brandon Beachy. Venters hopes to return in May from an elbow injury, while Beachy could be out until late June due to Tommy John surgery. Detroit's injury report is a lot better, although Justin Verlander's cracked skin injury on his pitching hand may bear watching. We shall see if it crops up again making things more difficult for him. Octavio Dotel is on the DL with right elbow inflammation, while Phil Coke has a groin strain.
Braves are 8-1 in their last nine Sunday games.
Braves are 4-1 in Minor's last five road starts.
Tigers are 48-21 in their last 69 Sunday games.
Tigers are 10-4 in Fister’s last 14 starts.
HITTERS TO WATCH
B.J. Upton 0-for-5 vs. Fister
Ramiro Pena 1-for-2 vs. Fister
Prince Fielder 3-for-3 vs. Minor
Omar Infante 4-for-12 vs. Minor