Friday's Interleague Action
August 23, 2013
By Kevin Rogers
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Tigers at Mets - 7:10 PM EST
Probables: D. Fister (10-6, 3.63 ERA) vs. D. Matsuzaka (NR)
Previous series recap: Detroit dropped two of three to struggling Minnesota, including Thursday's 7-6 defeat as $2.60 home favorites. The Tigers still control the AL Central, while wrapping up their eight-game homestand at 4-4. The Mets split a pair of games with the Braves, while losing the finale in extra innings on Wednesday, 4-1. New York owns a 4-6 record the last 10 games, as the Mets continue a nine-game homestand.
Pitching notes: The Tigers have won six of Doug Fister's last seven starts, with the lone loss coming as a road favorite against the White Sox on August 12. Detroit is 2-1 in Fister's three interleague starts, but the defeat came at Pittsburgh in 12 innings, in spite of the right-hander striking out 12 batters in seven innings. The 'over' is 4-1 in Fister's past five road outings, as the Tigers have allowed at least five runs in four of those contests.
The return of Daisuke Matsuzaka is finally here as the former Red Sox hurler makes his first start since last October. Dice-K spent time in the Indians' minor league system before getting released and ultimately landing with the Mets, as the righty gave up 25 earned runs in his final five starts as a member of the Red Sox to wrap up 2012.
Nationals at Royals - 8:10 PM EST
Probables: G. Gonzalez (7-6, 3.38 ERA) vs. B. Chen (5-1, 2.20 ERA)
Previous series recap: Washington grabbed three of four from Chicago, while holding off the Cubs on Thursday, 5-4 in 13 innings. The Cubs scored three runs in the ninth inning to force extra innings, but the Nationals came through in the 13th to win three consecutive road games for the first time this season. Kansas City's playoff hopes are fading by the day after the Royals were swept at home by the White Sox, capped off by a 12-inning defeat last night as $1.70 favorites.
Pitching notes: The Nationals have lost to the Braves five times when Gio Gonzalez took the mound, but the team is 14-6 when the southpaw faces anybody other than the Braves. However, the Nats are 0-4 in Gonzalez's four interleague starts, including road defeats at Detroit and Cleveland. The 'under' is 5-2 in Gonzalez's past seven starts overall, while the Nats are 1-4 in his last five outings as a road underdog.
Bruce Chen finally suffered a poor start in his last outing at Detroit, allowing six earned runs, two more runs than he allowed in the previous five starts combined. The Royals' southpaw is 6-1 to the 'under' in seven starts, including 'unders' in all three home starts. Chen faces a Washington lineup that has struggled against left-handed pitching, hitting just .223 this season.
Red Sox at Dodgers - 10:10 PM EST
Probables: J. Lackey (8-10, 3.22 ERA) vs. R. Nolasco (9-9, 3.60 ERA)
Previous series recap: Boston has alternated wins and losses in each of his last six games, while beating San Francisco in two of three contests. The Sox haven't won consecutive road games in their last four tries, while the 'under' is 6-1-1 in the past eight road contests. The Dodgers continue to stay hot after winning three of four games at Miami, improving to 9-0-1 in the last 10 series since the All-Star break.
Pitching notes: John Lackey shut down the Yankees in his last trip to the mound, scattering six hits and allowing one earned run in 6.2 innings of a 6-1 home victory. The Sox are 11-1 to the 'under' in Lackey's last 12 starts, including a run of seven straight 'unders' on the highway. However, Boston owns a 1-5 mark in Lackey's past six starts away from Fenway Park.
Ricky Nolasco has turned into a nice complimentary piece to this Dodgers' rotation, as Los Angeles has won six of his eight starts since getting acquired from Miami. Nolasco is making only his third home start in this stretch, splitting his first two outings at Dodger Stadium with a loss to the Rockies and a win over the Mets. The right-hander lost twice to the Red Sox last season, allowing 12 earned runs in just 9.1 innings or work.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.
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