Detroit Tigers (73-60) at Chicago White Sox (60-74)
Saturday, August 30 - 1:10 PM EST
U.S Cellular Field, Chicago, Illinois
The Detroit Tigers slowly are turning things around with five wins in their last six games, and will put their rotation and bullpen to the test when they visit the Chicago White Sox for a day-night doubleheader on Saturday. The Tigers got a big boost in a 7-1 victory in the series opener from Justin Verlander, who went seven innings to give the bullpen a little breather. Detroit sits one-half game behind the first-place Kansas City Royals in the American League Central.
The White Sox are losers of nine of their last 10 games and have scored three or fewer runs in eight of those contests. Chicago has done nothing but help playoff hopefuls lately with series losses to Baltimore, the New York Yankees and Cleveland. The Tigers are active in the wild-card race as well and are in the No. 2 spot in the AL, a game in front of Seattle with the Yankees (three games back) and Cleveland (four) still hanging around.
TV: 1:10 p.m. ET, MLBN, FSN Detroit, CSN Plus Chicago
PITCHING MATCHUP: Tigers RH Max Scherzer (15-4, 3.13 ERA) vs. White Sox LH Chris Sale (10-3, 2.03)
Scherzer is enduring what constitutes as a slump for the reigning Cy Young Award winner with seven runs allowed in 12 innings over his last two starts. The impending free agent got plenty of help from his offense at Minnesota on Monday and ended up with the win despite lasting only five innings. Scherzer was sharp the last time he faced Chicago, allowing one run and five hits over seven innings to earn a victory on July 30.
Sale was let down by his defense last time out, surrendering four unearned runs over six innings at New York without factoring in the decision. The AL ERA leader is winless in his last five turns despite yielding three or fewer earned runs in four of those outings. Sale struck out 10 and allowed only one run over seven innings against Detroit on June 12 but ended up with the loss while being outdueled by Scherzer in a 4-0 final.
1. The White Sox will honor the Jackie Robinson West Little League team that finished second in the Little League World Series prior to the second game.
2. Detroit 1B Miguel Cabrera is 4-for-28 over his last six contests.
3. Chicago 1B Jose Abreu has hit safely in eight straight games and has recorded multiple hits in five of his last seven contests.
PREDICTION: Tigers 3, White Sox 2