Keys to the Game: Tigers Vs Rays, August 22, 2011

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Tonight the AL Central leading Detroit Tigers will open a four game series with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.  The opening game will feature a fantastic pitching match up, as Detroit’s AL Cy Young contender Justin Verlander (18-5, 2.31 ERA) will square off against the 6-foot-nine, Jeff Niemann (8-4, 3.29 ERA) of Tampa Bay.  Since returning from a back injury on June 20th, Niemann is 7-0 in 10 starts and has actually given up two fewer Earned Runs than Verlander has over his last 10 trips to the mound.

ERs Allowed (Blue), Strikeouts (Orange) & Walks (Green)

While the Tigers have the more productive offense, the Rays have a better record and have only allowed only 484 Runs this season, the fewest in the American League.  Compare the production of tonight’s starting lineups for Detroit and Tampa Bay.

DET: RBIs (Blue), HRs (Orange) & Hits (Green)

TAM: RBIs (Blue), HRs (Orange) & Hits (Green)

With two dominant pitcher on the hill, runs will be at a premium tonight.  Expect the first team to score a couple of runs in a single frame to earn the victory.

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