Los Angeles Dodgers (86-34) vs. Detroit Tigers (53-68)
MLB Baseball: Sunday August 20th, 1:10 pm EST
Kenta Maeda (11-4, 3.76 ERA) vs. Justin Verlander (8-8, 4.11 ERA)
Line: Los Angeles -155
The Dodgers and the Tigers finish up a three game series on Sunday in Detroit. It’s been a down year for the Tigers, while the Dodgers are having a year for the ages. They are currently a ridiculous 52 games over .500 and have won five games in a row, including the opener on Friday, 8-5. The Tigers, meanwhile, are now a season low 15 games under .500 and they are looking to next year.
Every time I look up, the Dodgers are on a five, seven, or 10 game winning streak. It’s truly amazing. And they are only getting better. After recently picking up Yu Darvish to solidify their starting rotation, they now went and got Curtis Granderson, adding a veteran who has done well in postseasons past. Anything less than the World Series will be a disappointment for the Dodgers.
Maeda looks for 12th win
Kenta Maeda got off to pretty lousy start this year, but that seems so long ago now. Like the Dodgers themselves, they have been untouchable over the last several months of the season. He’s gone 5-0 with a no decision in his last six starts, and has won seven of his last 10 starts with only one loss during that span.
In his latest, he went 5.1 innings, holding the Padres to four hits although he did allow three earned runs. No problem, the Dodger offense carried him like they have for so many of their pitchers this season. The moved him to 11-4 and he looks like he’ll either be the third or fourth starter come the post season. I’d say him or Rich Hill will follow Kershaw and Darvish.
Verlander winding down great career
Maybe he gets two more years out of his right arm, and maybe he even gets three. But the end is coming fairly soon for Justin Verlander. He’s been one of the better pitchers of the last 10 years, and had a couple of seasons where he was among the top 2 or 3 pitchers in the league. He is now 34 and will be 35 before next season starts, so it’s hard to know just how long he’ll gut it out.
He hasn’t been bad this year, coming in at 8-8 with an ERA of 4.11, but he certainly doesn’t have quite the stuff that he used to. Despite that, he has still managed to strike out 150 batters in 151 innings, so he can still bring the heat at times. I’m sure he’d love to have a great game on Sunday as the Dodgers are clearly the best team in the majors.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are:
- (no trends available)
The Detroit Tigers are:
- 9-3 in their last 12 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600.
- 7-3 in their last 10 games after losing the first 2 games of a series.
- 91-41 in their last 132 interleague home games.
True, it’s hard to find many trends to pick against the Dodgers this year, but I think Justin Verlander will get up for the Dodgers on Sunday. He’s getting up there in age and won’t be making a postseason appearance this year, so I think he shows up big time on Sunday and the Tigers surprise the Dodgers.