The Tigers are a opening a three-game series versus the first place Cleveland Indians tonight. I won't call three games this early in the season a crucial series, but the Tigers are already 4 1/2 games behind the Indians. Cleveland is not a great team by any means but the Tigers don't want to dig too much of a hole, no matter how early it may be.
Max Scherzer (31 IP, 3.19 ERA, 30/13 K/BB) starts for the Bengals and Jeanmar Gomez (7 1/3 IP, 7.36 ERA, 4/3 K/BB goes for the Indians. It certainly looks like a favorable match-up for the Tigers, especially since Scherzer is on a roll having given up only five runs in his last four starts.
The bad news is that Jim Leyland continues to roll out the same ineffective line-up:
Once again, the skipper has three batters - Austin Jackson, Will Rhymes and Magglio Ordonez - batting under .200 in front of Miguel Cabrera, one of the best hitters in the game. Of the three, only Rhymes at .308 has an OBP above .250. Cabrera hasn't been getting many RBIs with this arrangement. How long do they have to fail before Leyland tries something different?