Larry Ness' 10* Division G.O.M. (2-0 TY in MLB): Larry's coming off an easy win last night with his 1st 10* LEGEND Play ("signature" release) of MLB 2012, as the Dodgers held the Padres to two hits in a 6-1. He's 2-0 with his 10* Division G.O.M. sides this year & his latest goes right here. Finding out which division, which game & which team, is "just a click away!" BE THERE!
Game: Detroit Tigers at Chicago White Sox Apr 15 2012 2:10PM
Prediction: Detroit Tigers
Grade: Winner (100)
Reason: My 10* AL Central Game of the Month is on the Det Tigers at 2:10 ET.
The Tigers had as much preseason hype as any team in MLB. They were considered an overwhelming favorite to win the Central Division (and by most, the American League as well), behind a powerhouse offense fueled by Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder plus a pitching staff led by Verlander and closer Velverde. Detroit opened the 2012 season 5-1 (all at home) but has found things considerably tougher on the road in Chicago. The White Sox have beaten the Tigers 5-2 and 5-1, making their case that they just may have a say in the Central Division race, after all. The White Sox will be seeking their fifth consecutive victory on Sunday, as well as earning a three-game series sweep of the Tigers. Chicago's pitching has shut down Detroitís vaunted offense, allowing only three runs on 11 hits in the two games. Thatís quite an accomplishment, as the Tigers had batted .304 and scored 40 runs during a 5-1 start to the season. However, Chicago last fashioned a three-game home sweep of the Tigers back in 2006 (Aug 11-13) and will have a tough time getting the win in this one. Chris Sale will get the start today. The converted reliever (79 relief appearances the last two seasons with a 2.58 ERA) gave up one ER on three hits over 6.2 innings to win his first career start, 4-2 at Cleveland on Monday. However, the Tigers have been hitting left-handers well since reaching the World Series back in 2006. Last year was nothing different, as Detroit was 31-20 against lefties, while averaging a healthy 5.3 RPG (team has opened 2-0 TY vs left-handers). Rick Porecello takes the mound for Detroit. He was terrific as a rookie in 2009, going 14-9 with a 3.96 ERA (team was 18-13 in his starts), showing a lot of moxie for a young pitcher when he took the ball in Detroitís one-game playoff at Minnesota for the Central Division title that year. He went 5.2 innings, allowing just four hits and two runs (one earned) with eight Ks. He left with a 3-2 lead but the Tigers would go on to lose. Porcello struggled in 2010, going 10-12 with a 4.92 ERA (team was 13-14 in his starts) but he rebounded last year, going 14-9. His ERA was high at 4.75 but he was a winner, as the Tigers went 21-10 in his starts (his moneyline mark of plus-$1,024 ranked 5th among all MLB starters!). Porcello went seven strong innings in his season debut against the Tampa Bay Rays (allowed seven hits and two ERs but got a no decision in a 5-2 Detroit win) and I believe, will be tough to beat here. He did not fare well against the White Sox early in his career, but he is 2-0 with a no-decision the last three times he's faced them (Tigers are 3-0 with Porcello owning a 3.33 ERA). Remember, the Tigers took 13 of 18 from the White Sox last year and began this series having won 21 of 27 previous meetings with Chicago (including the final SIX last year), prior to this weekend. Expect the Tigers to avoid the sweep behind Porcello, as Detroit gets to Chicagoís young left-hander (converted reliever, Chris Sale).