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Tigers Look To Regain Lead, Face Royals

Rick Porcello and the Tigers will look to take first place in the AL Central.

Rick Porcello and the Tigers will look to take first place in the AL Central.

In the final game of a three-game set, the Detroit Tigers will look to sweep the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday. More importantly, they’ll also look to regain control of the AL Central standings.

First pitch at Comerica Park is scheduled for 7:08 p.m. ET.

20140909_AL_CentralWith a pair of wins to start the series, Detroit (80-65, 38-32 home) has moved into a virtual tie with the Royals at the top of the AL Central standings.

Up by as many as seven games towards the end of July, the Tigers relinquished the AL Central lead on August 11 and haven’t owned sole possession of the lead since.

On Tuesday night, with Max Scherzer on the mound, the Tigers climbed out to 4-1 fifth inning lead before fending off a spirited display from the Royals, ultimately winning the game 4-2. Coupled with a 9-5 victory on Monday, Brad Ausmus’ club could now be looking at an automatic postseason berth. For that, a win on Wednesday – and a sweep of the Royals – would be recommended.

The last time Kansas City (79-64, 41-32 road) tasted the postseason, the club savored a seven-game World Series victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. That was way back in 1985, and if Ned Yost’s club is to break a 28-year stretch of futility, the time is now.

Many are suggesting Wednesday night’s series finale is the pivotal game of the season for the Royals.

A victory inches the club back to the top of the division standings, and sets the side up for these final three weeks. A loss and the Tigers will almost certainly regain the momentum needed to take the division crown, leaving the Royals in a fierce battle with the Seattle Mariners for a wild card berth.

Cue the first can’t miss game of September.

Pitching matchup

Detroit will turn to Rick Porcello (15-10, 3.30 ERA) to earn a victory on Wednesday night.

The 25-year-old right-hander enters the game having found his way into the losing column in his last two starts. On Friday he allowed six runs (five earned) on 10 hits as he was roughed up by the San Francisco Giants through three innings of baseball.

He’ll be hoping that his third game of the season against the Royals, a team he has beaten twice, will be enough to right the ship.

  • Porcello is 8-3 with a 4.19 ERA in 17 career games (17 starts) vs. Kansas City
  • Porcello is 36-27 with a 4.56 ERA in 87 career games (87 starts) at Comerica Park
  • Porcello is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in 2 games (2 starts) vs. Kansas City this season
  • Porcello is 6-5 with a 4.31 ERA in 12 games (12 starts) at Comerica Park this season

Kansas City will send staff ace James Shields (13-7, 3.23 ERA) to the mound.

Shields’ last performance was the antithesis of Porcello’s. The 32-year-old right-hander yielded just one hit through 25 batters as the Royals defeated the New York Yankees 1-0. Can he repeat that performance at Comerica Park, a place he’s had success in the past?

  • Shields is 6-5 with a 4.37 ERA in 17 career games (17 starts) vs. Detroit
  • Shields is 4-0 with a 2.64 ERA in 7 career games (7 starts) at Comerica Park
  • Shields is 0-2 with a 5.49 ERA in 3 games (3 starts) vs. Detroit this season
  • Shields is 0-0 with a 4.26 ERA in 1 game (1 start) at Comerica Park this season

Injury report

Kansas City’s backup second baseman Christian Colon is out indefinitely with a hand injury.

Detroit relief pitcher Joakim Soria – a member of the Royals between 2007 and 2011 – has been listed on the 15-day DL with an oblique injury, but is expected to be activated on Wednesday.

Detroit reliever Joakim Soria is expected to be available to face his old club.

Detroit reliever Joakim Soria is expected to be available to face his old club.

Betting report

Below you’ll find significant trends and observations relating to this matchup. 

Kansas City Royals vs. Detroit Tigers odds for 09/10/2014

The moneyline opened with nothing to separate Kansas City (-105) and Detroit (-105). Subsequently, the line has shifted slightly in favor of the home side. At the time of writing, TopBet has the Tigers at -120 and the Royasl at +110.

Detroit owns a decisive advantage in the head-to-head series this season, having won six of the last seven and being 11-4 on the season.

Some other trends to consider:

  • Kansas City is 55-40 in night games
  • Detroit is 51-37 in night games
  • Kansas City is 30-31 vs. AL Central opponents
  • Detroit is 33-26 vs. AL Central opponents
  • Kansas City is 58-45 vs. right-handed pitching
  • Detroit is 54-43 vs. right-handed pitching
  • Kansas City is 31-18 since the All-Star break
  • Detroit is 27-27 since the All-Star break
  • Kansas City is 5-3 since September 1
  • Detroit is 6-3 since September 1

The total opened at 7.5, where it remains.

The total has gone over in four of Detroit’s last six, but under in eight of Kansas City’s last 10.

The total has gone under in six of the last eight head-to-head meetings between the two clubs, including Tuesday night’s Detroit victory.


Following Wednesday’s series finale, Kansas City returns home, where it will host the Boston Red Sox over the weekend (Thu-Sun).

Detroit stays at Comerica Park and will welcome the Cleveland Indians for a divisional matchup this weekend (Fri-Sun).

The Royals and Tigers will contest one more series this season, a three-game set over the weekend of September 19-21.


For a full list of today’s Major League Baseball odds, click here.

For MLB Futures odds, courtesy of Bovada, click here.

For team prop bets, click here.

For player prop bets, click here.


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