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Old 08-16-2006, 01:14 PM
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Default Detroit (78-41) at Boston (68-50) Baseball Pick

Detroit (78-41) at Boston (68-50)

The Tigers go for a three-game sweep of the Red Sox when they send rookie phenom Justin Verlander (14-5, 2.95 ERA) to the mound opposite veteran David Wells (1-2, 6.23).

Detroit rallied for a 3-2 victory last night, sending Boston to its seventh loss in its last 10 contests. The Tigers, who entered this series having lost five games in a row overall and 13 of their last 16 at Fenway Park, have won the first two games of this series to improve to 4-3 against the Sox in 2006.

Boston is just 10-14 against the A.L. Central this season.

Verlander has given up three earned runs or fewer in 17 of his 22 starts this season, but he’s coming off one of his worst performances of the season, as he surrendered five runs (four earned) on 13 hits in Friday’s 5-0 loss at the White Sox. The defeat snapped the youngster’s seven-game winning streak, while Detroit dropped to 13-3 in the righthander’s last 16 starts.

This marks Verlander’s fourth consecutive start on the highway, where he’s 7-3 with a 2.64 ERA in 11 contests. This is his first career start against Boston.

Wells picked up his first victory of the season Friday, holding the Orioles to a run on nine hits over seven innings in a 9-2 triumph at home. Prior to that game, the portly lefthander had given up 13 runs (nine earned) in two starts spanning 10 2/3 innings since returning from a two-month stint on the D.L.

Wells is making just his sixth start of the season tonight, but four of the previous five have come at Fenway, where he’s 1-1 with a 7.65 ERA.

In 42 lifetime appearances against the Tigers (24 starts), Wells has posted a 13-8 record with a 4.58 ERA. One of those victories came last August in Beantown, where Wells gave up three runs (two earned) in seven innings.

The over is 4-0-1 when Wells takes the mound this season, while the under is 13-9 in Verlander’s starts (8-3 on the road).

Although Tuesday’s game stayed under the total, the over is still 9-2-2 in the last 13 games at Fenway and 8-3 in the last 11 meetings between these clubs. Detroit, however, is on a 5-1-1 under run.

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