Detroit Tigers vs. Texas Rangers: Battle of divisional leaders

The Detroit Tigers will host the Texas Rangers in Game 2 of a 3-game series between the respective leaders of the American League Central and American League West divisions.

Doug Fister (3-12, 3.33 ERA), newly acquired from the Seattle Mariners, makes his debut tonight for the Tigers with the hopes that the lively Detroit bats will help to improve his dreadful win-loss record, which has been mostly influenced by the league-worst 1.97 runs of support per game that Seattle gave him game prior to moving to the Motor City.

In opposition tonight, Texas will put out Matt Harrison (9-7, 2.94 ERA) who has won 5 straight decisions for the Rangers, giving up only 8 runs in total while averaging 7 1/3 innings of work per outing over that stretch.

Betting options at Bodog Sportsbook:

Both Texas and Detroit sit at -105 on the Moneyline, with an over/under total runs at 9 (-110 for either over or under). Runline options find -1 1/2 runs posted for Texas (+140) and +1 1/2 runs posted for Detroit (-160).

Both pitchers have faced the opposition once this year with each giving up 4 runs, with Fister going 7 2/3 innings in a 4-0 loss to Texas, and Harrison going only 4 innings in an 8-1 loss to Detroit.

Harrison has been extremely hot through July, posting a 3-0 mark with a 2.04 ERA during that month, however the Tigers could change that heading into August given his past showings over his career. Harrison is 0-3 lifetime with a 7.84 ERA in four starts versus Detroit.
Detroit comes into this game with a 1 game lead in the AL Central, winning 3 of their last 4 and 5-5 in their last 10 games. Texas has lost two, including the opening game of this series, losing 3 of their last 4 and going 4-6 in their last 10 games.

Our pick: Detroit prevails at home getting a win as Doug Fister puts in a solid outing in his debut with the Tigers tonight.

While Matt Harrison has been hot as of late for Texas, Detroit’s bats at home, including those held by Brennan Boesch, Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez could spell trouble for Harrison deeper into the game. Texas will need to see improvement from Josh Hamilton (1-7) and Elvis Andrus (2-15) to help put up some run production alongside Nelson Cruz, Michael Young, and Mike Napoli who have all been on fire for the past month, though they may struggle tonight as Doug Fister has something to prove to his new team.

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