Let's see how this goes in Detroit.
The Detroit Tigers will host the Cleveland Indians in a three-game series starting Tuesday. Things didn't pan out so well when the Tigers faced the Indians in Cleveland a few weeks back. The Indians swept Detroit as the Tigers mustered a measly six runs in three games. The low point -- or at least one of them -- came in the series finale, when Justin Verlander pitched 8.0 two-run innings only to take the loss.
Drew Smyly, 2-1 with a 3.46 ERA, will start Tuesday for Detroit. Smyly had an incredible 1.23 ERA through his first four starts but has since run into some rookie lumps. He has given up 15 earned runs in his last four outings, his ERA ballooning from 2.31 to 3.46. Even so, he has 50 strikeouts in 54.1 innings with just 15 walks -- good for the No. 13 strikeout-to-walk ratio in the league.
Ubaldo Jimenez will take the hill for Cleveland. And for all Smyly's May troubles, it's nothing compared to Jimenez, who has given up 20 earned runs in his last 20.1 innings. Last time out, Jimenez pitched 4.0 innings and gave up seven earned runs. And that strikeout-to-walk ratio? Well, for Jimenez it's negative.
Detroit is 3.5 games back of Cleveland in the Central, and 6.0 games back of the first-place Chicago White Sox. Maybe most troubling: Detroit is just 1.5 games ahead of Kansas City.
First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 7:05 Eastern.