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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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MLB Saturday Detroit Tigers at Texas Rangers Preview: Start Time, Odds, Free Pick


Saturday night baseball and we will see the Detroit Tigers take on the Texas Rangers in game 2 of their3 game series from Texas. The game is scheduled for an 8:05 (ET) pm start time and it will be televised live on  FSN (Detroit, Texas) and MLB Network. Currently the odds have Detroit favored at -136, while Texas is dogs of +128. The total for the game sits at 9 runs.

Free Analysis: The Tigers, who occupy one of the two wild-card spots in the AL and trail the White Sox by one game in the Central, received a three-run blast from Prince Fielder and an inside-the-park homer from Austin Jackson en route to victory last night over the Texas Rangers. Fielder has batted .455 (15 for 33) with four homers and 12 RBIs in nine August games after going 0 for 12 in the final four of July, while catcher Alex Avila is batting .457 during an 11-game hitting streak. Detroit hopes Justin Verlander's latest outing will give him the momentum he needs to get back on track away from home. Looking to avoid losing three straight road starts for the first time in more than four years, Verlander tries to help the Tigers to a second straight victory over the AL West-leading Texas Rangers on Saturday night. Though Verlander (12-7, 2.51 ERA) has pitched well this year, the right-hander has a 5.25 ERA while losing his last two road starts to fall to 6-5 with a 3.36 ERA away from Comerica Park. He has not dropped three straight starts on the road since a five-game skid to open the 2008 season. The reigning AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner leads the major leagues with six complete games and is two strikeouts behind teammate Max Scherzer (168) for tops in the majors. Verlander improved to 7-2 lifetime against the Rangers when he held them to an unearned run over six innings on April 21. Despite being a co-owner of the best home record in the American League, the Texas Rangers have struggled of late in their own ballpark. A loss tonight would give them an 0-2-1 record in their last 3 home series'. Josh Hamilton belted his 31st home run Friday, tying him with Chicago's Adam Dunn for the major-league lead and with Detroit's Miguel Cabrera for the top spot in the majors in RBIs with 96. Teammate Michael Young is batting .357 (15 for 42) during a 10-game hitting streak. Including playoffs, he is 8 for 33 (.242) with 10 strikeouts against Verlander. Texas (65-46) could use a good start from Derek Holland (7-6, 5.18) to help even the set. The left-hander is 1-2 with a 7.00 ERA in his last four starts and has allowed six runs in three of those outings, including Sunday in a 7-6, 10-inning loss at Kansas City. Holland also has struggled to keep the ball in the park at home, giving up eight homers while going 1-2 with an 8.18 ERA in his last four starts there. He does not have a decision while posting a 6.35 ERA in three starts - all at home - against the Tigers, including two in the ALCS last season. 

Free Pick: Looking at the Over in this one. Detroit comes in averaging 6.6 rpg in their last 7 games and they came in and put up 6 runs last night and their big hitters (Fielder and Cabrera are both hot). Holland has an 8.18 ERA in his last 4 home starts and has allowed 8 HR's over that stretch. Overall Derek has a 6.19 ERA at home, with his home starts averaging 11.3 rpg. Justin Verlander gets the ball tonight for Detroit and he has been hit a bit on the road of late. Justin has a 5.25 ERA in his last 2 road starts and a 3.36 ERA on the road overall. His road starts have averaged just 6.5 rpg, but none of those starts were in this park. Texas is a very good offense at home, but an even better offense if the face a lefty here as they have hit .289 and have scored 6.13 rp/ 9 innings off of southpaws on the year. This one should be a slugfest  

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