at DETROIT TIGERS
First pitch: Sunday, 8:00 p.m. ET
Line: N/A, Total: N/A
The Rangers meet the Tigers in a big Sunday night matchup at Comerica Park.
It has been an up-and-down season for both the Rangers and the Tigers in 2017, but both teams are still right in the thick of things in their respective divisions. This matchup promises to be a good one, as both teams know that they can make a statement by coming away with a victory on the national stage. The starters in this ESPN game will be RHP Yu Darvish (4-2, 2.76 ERA, 61 K) for the Rangers and LHP Matthew Boyd (2-3, 5.18 ERA, 30 K) for the Tigers. This might seem like a lopsided battle on the mound, but it could be a good one. While Darvish has been excellent to start the season, Boyd is also capable of turning in some gems. He has allowed three or fewer earned runs in seven of his appearances this season, but he has also been roughed up on occasion. Itís just important that he finds a way to limit his walks here.
Yu Darvish is going to be starting for the Rangers on Sunday, and the righty has been ridiculous recently. Darvish has allowed two or fewer earned runs in four of his past five starts, and he has allowed one or fewer in four of his nine starts this season. He is very much a candidate to win the AL Cy Young Award, and he should be in for a big performance on Sunday. The last time Darvish faced the Tigers was Aug. 12, 2016, and he allowed just two earned runs in 6.2 innings of work in that outing. Heís a lot healthier now than he was then, so heíll be confident when he heads out to the hill. Offensively, one guy that could be in for a big game for Texas is 1B Mike Napoli. In Napoliís career against Matthew Boyd, he is 2-for-5 with a homer and two RBI. That is obviously a small sample size, but itís hard to imagine that he wonít be feeling good about his chances to take him yard again on Sunday. Especially considering the fact that Boyd is coming off of his worst performance of the season.
If the Tigers are going to win on Sunday night then they will need Boyd to be more like the guy he was earlier in the season than the guy he was in his most recent start. Boyd was awful when he faced the Orioles on May 16, allowing seven earned runs on eight hits in only 2.1 innings of work. That canít happen again on Sunday or this game could get out of hand fast. Itís very likely that Darvish is going to pitch well, so Boyd will need to be prepared to duel with him here. If anybody is going to get to Darvish on this Tigers offense then that would be either 2B Ian Kinsler or 3B Miguel Cabrera. Kinsler is 2-for-6 with two doubles against the righty in his career, and Cabrera is even better with a .333 batting average, three doubles, and three RBI. If Cabrera can get it going in that game then it would be big for both him and Detroit, as it has not been the best of seasons for the slugger.