The Tampa Bay Rays tonight get their first look at the 2010 version of the Detroit Tigers. Tampa has been simply pedestrian for most of the regular season at home while having the league’s best record away from the Trop. Tampa has recorded a 6-1 record in the confines of the Trop since late June and tonight’s match-up bothers me. Detroit comes in on the downside, losing 9 of the last 12 games they have played and injuries abound.
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Detroit comes to the Trop after losing 6 consecutive games on the road this season, and what frustrates me about the Rays, is just like the Buccaneers, they seem to play down to the level of their opponent.
Matt Garza (10-5 4.36) takes the mound tonight for the Rays, who has a 3-0 record at the Trop in his last four starts at home, however, Garza is 0-4 with a 5.85 ERA versus the Tigers in his career starts against the Tigers. The Tigers are running Max Scherzer to the mound in opposition tonight. Scherzer is 7-7 with a 4.43 ERA and I’m concerned that the Rays batting order always seems to make ordinary pitchers look like Cy Young candidates, tonight could be crucial. Crucial because tomorrow the Tigers are trotting out Jason Verlander against James Shields who has struggled mightily this season.
The Rays must capture a win tonight because I’m not so certain about tomorrow night’s game, and you don’t want to be two games down to Detroit at home. Especially with New York at Cleveland and Boston against the Angels.