Tigers (63-52) @ Pirates (62-55)
DET Justin Verlander (10-10, 4.57 ERA) vs PIT Jeff Locke (3-3, 3.78 ERA)
- The Pirates and Tigers begin a home and home series with two games in Pittsburgh, followed by two games in Detroit. Starting tonight Pittsburgh begins a stretch of 22 straight games against teams with a winning record.
- Tonight’s pitching matchup boast former Cy Young winner Justin Verlander vs Jeff Locke. Verlander has not pitched at a Cy Young level the last two seasons but has been lights out in his career against the National League. Verlander is 25-2 with a 2.73 ERA in 32 career starts versus the National League. In his career vs the Pirates, Verlander is 4-0 with a 1.97 ERA.
- Tigers have lost 8 of 10 on the road, losing in 19 innings on Sunday vs the Toronto Blue Jays. Pittsburgh has won 8 of 10 against the Tigers at PNC Park.
- Playoff Implications: Detroit holds just a half game lead over the surging Kansas City Royals. Pittsburgh trails the Milwaukee Brewers by 2.5 games for NL Central lead and are currently in the second wildcard spot.
- After being scratched from the starting lineup Sunday, Neil Walker will sit out again for the Pirates. It appears the Pirates will be playing their eighth straight game with 23 players.
- Pedro Alvarez is receiving extensive work at first base during pre-game workouts. He is not in the starting lineup tho. It’s only a matter of time before he gets in a game situation there.
PIRATES – LINEUP
1. Josh Harrison, 3B
2. Gregory Polanco, RF
3. Russell Martin, C
4. Ike Davis, 1B
5. Starling Marte, CF
6. Travis Snider, LF
7. Jordy Mercer, SS
8. Jayson Nix, 2B
9. Jeff Locke, P