Major League Baseball
Preview
Cleveland at Detroit
When: 7:08 PM ET, Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Where: Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan


The Detroit Tigers were able to claim their third straight American League Central title a season ago due in large part to their domination of the Cleveland Indians. The Tigers, who went 15-4 against the Indians in 2013, look to repeat that success starting Wednesday when they host Cleveland for the first of two games following Tuesday’s postponement. Detroit used its advantage over the Indians last year to go 47-29 inside the division, allowing the Tigers to finish one game ahead of Cleveland.

The Tigers got off to a 2-0 start in their division with a pair of victories over the Kansas City Royals to begin this season, but will be hoping to rebound from a 2-3 road trip and avoid the frigid temperatures that led to the postponement of Tuesday’s scheduled series opener. The Indians also enter this series in less than ideal shape after dropping three of four to the Chicago White Sox and four of five overall. Only one starting pitcher made it through five innings for the Indians as the rotation was charged for 18 of the 26 runs they allowed to the White Sox, increasing the starters’ ERA to 5.19 on the season.

TV: 7:08 p.m. ET, MLB Network, SportsTime Ohio (Cleveland), FSN Detroit

PITCHING MATCHUP: Indians RH Zach McAllister (1-0, 2.31 ERA) vs. Tigers RH Anibal Sanchez (0-0, 3.00)

McAllister threw 70 of his 99 pitches for strikes (including first-pitch strikes to 20 of the 28 batters he faced) in last Wednesday’s 2-0 home win over the San Diego Padres. The 26-year-old allowed five hits, struck out seven and did not walk a batter over 7 2/3 innings after enduring an uneven four-inning outing in his season debut on April 2 against the Oakland Athletics. McAllister has enjoyed very little success in six career starts against Detroit, going 0-2 with a 4.85 ERA and 1.85 WHIP.

After a rain delay cost Sanchez a chance at a win in his season debut on April 4, he lost a chance for another victory last Wednesday when closer Joe Nathan blew a save against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The AL ERA leader from a season ago, who needed 110 pitches to get through five innings, allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits and struck out six. Sanchez went 2-0 in three turns versus the Indians last season to improve to 4-1 with a 2.20 ERA against them in seven career outings.

WALK-OFFS

1. Detroit outscored Cleveland 120-70 last season.

2. Indians RF David Murphy is 9-for-23 with five runs, six extra-base hits (including two homers) and 10 RBIs in his last seven games.

3. Tigers DH Victor Martinez, who batted .378 against his former team last season, is 5-for-9 all-time against McAllister.

PREDICTION: Tigers 4, Indians 3

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Cleveland 6-7 L1 3-3 3-4 0-0 2-5 2-1 2-1
Detroit 6-4 L1 4-1 2-3 2-1 2-0 0-0 2-3
Last Meeting
Cleveland Detroit
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
9/1/13 CLE 4 DET 0 .172 1 .590 .314 0 .723
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Cleveland N/A
Detroit N/A
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Cleveland C. Allen 0 0 0
Detroit A. Alburquerque 0 0 0
Pitching ERA Avg K
Cleveland 0.00 .000 0
Detroit 0.00 .000 0
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Cleveland M. Brantley .292 14 .787
Detroit R. Davis .345 10 .860
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Cleveland J. Kipnis 2 7 7
Detroit T. Hunter 3 5 9
Pitching ERA Avg K
Cleveland 4.45 .245 128
Detroit 3.59 .253 80