Detroit has to find answers fast or it could be another lost season. The Tigers blew two leads in the bottom of ninth at Oakland, which prevented a sweep and have moved on to the Arizona desert.
The Diamondbacks have recently lost four of six to first place Colorado and tumbled into 3rd place in the AL West. Both teams could use a sweep of this brief two-game interleague series. I will be after a fourth straight winner tonight for MLB picks.
Justin Verlander (2-2, 4.21 ERA) started this season fast, got blasted a couple times and has settled back down. The right-hander had a 1.35 ERA and two outings later that had blown up all the way to 6.04, on rumors of pitch-tipping and later fastball command. In Verlander’s previous two starts he’s allowed only nine hits in 14 innings and two earned runs, while striking out 13. Verlander is 2-0 with a wicked 1.84 ERA versus Arizona.
If Robbie Ray (2-2, 3.47) could have greater command of the strike zone, he could be quite a starting pitcher. Ray can be impossible when he has two strikes on hitters, with 49 punch-outs in just 36.1 innings. The down side to his pitching is he also walks a batter every other inning on average (18) and if he happens to give a hit or two, suddenly the other team hangs a crooked number.