Los Angeles Dodgers (85-34 SU, 67-52 RL, 56-59-4 O/U) vs. Detroit Tigers (53-67 SU, 57-63 RL, 65-49-6 O/U)
MLB: Friday, August 18, 2017 at 7:10 p.m. EST
The Line: Los Angeles Dodgers -210/Detroit Tigers +180. Total: 9.5.
The Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Dodgers will begin a three-game series when they square off at Comerica Park in Detroit on Friday night. Los Angeles is the best team in baseball and has shown no signs of slowing down, currently in the midst of a four-game winning streak. The Tigers, on the other hand, have dropped four in a row and 10 of their last 12.
Never out of it
The Dodgers are on pace to tie the record for most regular-season wins and are showing no sign of slowing down with 50 wins in their last 59 contests. Los Angeles put together a three-run rally in the ninth inning on Wednesday to beat the White Sox 5-4 on Yasiel Puig’s walkoff two-run double. Shortstop Corey Seager is 10-for-26 during a six-game hitting streak, but center fielder Joc Pederson is 1-for-38 in his last 14 games.
“We were down by two,” utility man Kike Hernandez reflected. “But two runs is not enough for us. I don’t think there’s a big enough lead right now to be like, ‘All right, the Dodgers are out of the game,’ especially the way we’ve been coming from behind all year long. It’s just an everyday thing now.”
Left-hander Rich Hill is taking the mound for Los Angeles on Friday. Hill (8-4, 3.44 ERA) is rolling right along with the rest of the team and has allowed no more than three earned runs in each of his last nine starts. He has 107 strikeouts in 89 innings this season.
Zimmermann looking to rebound
The Tigers have lost four straight and 10 of the last 12. In the process, they have watched their pitching staff surrender an average of 8.7 runs over the last seven contests. Center fielder Mikie Mahtook is 15-for-38 with three homers and 10 runs scored in his last nine games.
Veteran right-hander Jordan Zimmermann will oppose Hill on Friday. Zimmermann (7-9, 5.62 ERA) had a string of three straight quality starts interrupted by a dud against Minnesota this past Saturday. He was ripped for seven runs and eight hits in 3.1 innings but managed to escape without a loss when his offense led the way to a 12-11 victory. Zimmermann is no stranger to Los Angeles after spending the first seven seasons of his career in the National League with Washington, and he is 2-2 with a 4.40 ERA in eight starts against the Dodgers.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are:
- 50-9 in their last 59 overall
- 22-6 in their last 28 road games
- 12-1 in their last 13 games against the American League Central
The Detroit Tigers are:
- 0-4 in their last four overall
- 4-9 in their last 13 interleague games
- 1-6 in their last seven games that are series openers
Hill faced Detroit twice as a member of the Athletics last season and won both games whole allowing a total of two runs in 13.1 innings. The Dodgers are 50-9 in their last 59 overall, 22-6 in their last 28 on the road, 19-7 in their last 26 interleague contests, 12-1 in their last 13 against the American League Central, and 42-10 in their last 52 against losing opponents. Detroit is 0-4 in its last four overall, 4-9 in its last 13 interleague contests, 1-6 in its last seven series openers, and 2-7 in Zimmermann’s last nine starts against losing opponents. Look for those trends to continue.